Although it did not confirmed anything directly, Tesla actually gave several very important clues about its next generation of electric cars. It was expected that, on the occasion of Tesla Investors Day, the brand would speak clearly and openly about a new EV model, giving data on its electrical scheme, size, and even its price or name. To find out all of the above, it seems that Tesla fans and customers will have to wait a long time (another year, most probably), but the brand has indeed revealed several technological aspects about this new generation of models that is about to arrive, in addition to announcing how many units they plan to produce, and where they are going to produce them.
Although it was not mentioned explicitly during the event, later, through a more leisurely explanation on social networks, Tesla confirmed that the newly announced factory in Mexico is where the series production of the new generation of models will take place. In this new factory, the brand will implement new methodologies and technologies, both at the production and product levels. It will be the first production line to completely dispense with the use of rare earths in its motors, and its internal electronics will be entirely the work of Tesla, in-house. It will also be the first to make use of an on-board electrical system supported by a 48-V network.
All these solutions will lead the brand to reduce total production costs by $1,000 according to the models it currently produces, which leads to addressing another fundamental aspect: final price. Only by means of a reasonable price the brand will be able to aspire to produce the total number of units that are being considered from the beginning: more than 700 million. A large number indeed, as compared to what is planned for the rest of the generations of EV models. Depending on the current product portfolio, and those that are planned, five different generations can be distinguished, the fifth being the main character in this case.
On the one hand, the Tesla Model S and Model X clearly belong to the first generation, while the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y would be included in the second. Independently, the Tesla Semi and the Cybertruck - and allegedly a new minivan - would make up a fourth generation. Of all these, the generation to which the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y belong, with 380 million total units, is the one that will be produced the most; though it actually does not represent anything more than half of what Tesla intends to manufacture with its new generation.
Tesla's plan for the future of electric cars is ambitious, no doubt. Not only is the company planning to produce a new, lower-cost model, but they are aiming to make 700 million of them. This goal is nothing short of impressive, but if the company's previous track record is any indication, they may just be able to pull it off.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.