On Tuesday, speaking at a shareholders’ meeting in Mountain View, Calif., Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said 2016 is the year to watch for an electric car costing half what an entry level Model S does, and with 200 miles range.
“A significant improvement in technology is needed to have a compelling affordable electric car. To be compelling, it must have a useful range of 200 miles,” Musk said of a car expected to have a family resemblance to the Model S (pictured).
Musk called the car “Gen III.” A Model S starts at $62,400, so half this would mean Tesla’s car will be in the territory of what Nissan now charges for a Leaf SV which currently has an EPA-rated 84 miles of range with 100-percent charge, or 75 miles (on window sticker) with 90-percent charge.
Tesla’s new EV may also come to have “some autopilot or self-driving elements,” but these may not be ready by 2016, Musk said.
He did say he was pretty sure “without any miracles happening” in battery chemistry from Panasonic, the energy storage and density can be boosted to meet real world range goals.