Tesla’s current vehicle lineup is made up of the Model 3 and S sedans and the Model X and Y SUV and crossover. And by selling these 4 vehicle variants, in 2021, Tesla was able to deliver close to 1 million vehicles.
However, by 2030, Tesla has plans to sell 20 million vehicles a year. And to achieve this lofty goal, the EV maker will need to, one, significantly increase production of the current models, and, two, it needs to expand its vehicle offering by introducing new models.
To achieve the first goal, Tesla has been adding Model Y production capacity at its newly inaugurated factories in Grunheide Germany, and Austin Texas. When fully ramped Tesla plans to produce more than a million Model Ys and around 750,000 Model 3s a year.
These are incredible numbers and are expected to make the Model Y the best-selling vehicle in the world either electric or internal combustion. However, in order to reach the 20 million vehicles a year goal, Tesla will still need other vehicle variants to make up the number.
Luckily, the EV maker already has 3 new vehicles in the pipeline and all of them are expected to begin production in 2023. These include the redesigned Cybertruck, the redesigned Roadster, and the redesigned Tesla Semi.
However, even after fully ramped, these vehicles are expected to increase Tesla’s annual vehicle output “only” by several hundreds of thousands.
This is where Tesla’s upcoming robotaxi enters. Information regarding the new vehicle is currently sparse. At the Giga Texas opening event back in April, Elon Musk, speaking about Tesla’s upcoming vehicle lineup gave us some information saying “there is going to be a dedicated robotaxi that’s going to look pretty futuristic.”
Besides this, there isn’t a lot we know about the vehicle. Speaking at Tesla’s Battery Day event back in 2020 Elon Musk had said the upcoming robotaxi will cost $25,000. However, that was before the current inflation that has forced Tesla to increase the prices of its vehicles by more than $10,000.
Currently, Tesla’s robotaxi is slated to be unveiled in 2023. And we will likely have to wait for the unveiling before we get a complete picture of the vehicle. However, for those of us too excited to wait, Tesla has given us some information regarding the new robotaxi.
If China’s reported NEV insurance registrations this month are any indication, it would appear that Tesla is poised to post some impressive numbers this November. https://t.co/JLJu9uZagN pic.twitter.com/MBvuUfNQiT— Torque News (@torquenewsauto) November 30, 2022
On page 63 of Tesla’s annual impact report, Tesla briefly discusses the new robotaxi writing…
The energy efficiency of Tesla vehicles will continue to improve as we improve our technology and powertrain efficiency. It is also reasonable to assume that our high-mileage products, such as our future Tesla Robotaxis, will be designed for maximum energy efficiency as handling, acceleration and top speed become less relevant. This will minimize cost for our customers as well as reduce the carbon footprint per mile driven.
Elon Musk had previously said “at Tesla, we don’t make slow cars” and it is interesting to now see Tesla will not be focusing on handling, acceleration, and top speed when it comes to the new vehicle.
However, this makes sense given the primary and perhaps the only goal for Tesla’s upcoming robotaxi is decreasing the cost per mile of ride-hailing to as low a number as possible. And when seen through this lens, Tesla making efficiency its number one priority makes a lot of sense.
From the information we have so far regarding Tesla’s upcoming robotaxi, the vehicle is shaping up to be Tesla’s most radical vehicle design to date. And today appearing in a CNBC interview, Tesla’s Chief Designer, Franz von Holzhausen has given us more reason to be excited about the upcoming robotaxi.
In the 16 minutes long interview, Franz mostly discusses the thinking behind Tesla’s most radical vehicle design decisions including the Cybertruck. But, when asked by the host “I’m curious if you have a favorite design, a favorite feature, something that you are most proud of?” Franz to all our surprise, sitting next to a Cybertruck prototype and referring to the upcoming robotaxi answered saying “my favorite one is the one that is upcoming.”
It’s incredible to imagine Tesla coming up with a more iconic design than that of the Cybertruck for the upcoming robotaxi, however, unlucky for us, Franz stopped short of giving us any detail about the robotaxi saying “I obviously can’t talk about it.”
Even though Franz’s latest statement has increased our anticipation for Tesla’s upcoming robotaxi currently this is all the information we have regarding Tesla’s first driverless car. However, we will be sure to keep you posted as we learn more about the new vehicle. Until then, make sure to visit our site torquenews.com/Tesla regularly for the latest updates.
So what do you think? Excited to learn that Tesla’s Chief designer puts the design of the upcoming robotaxi even above the Cybertruck? What kind of features are you expecting from Tesla’s first driverless car? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
For more information check out: Tesla Model 3 Update: Project Highland Promises to Reinvigorate the Iconic Electric Vehicle
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.