The American automobile market has made leaps and bounds in its sustainability within the last decade. From the chic Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid to the stylish Focus EV, the United States has certainly held its own in a world increasingly aware of its carbon footprint. However, the past few years has seen Tesla and Fisker taking this idea of the efficient vehicle to the next level. No longer would fuel economy come at the price of luxury and performance. Accordingly, the companies produced the Model S and the Karma, respectively, some of the most comfortable, luxurious, and dynamic vehicles on the market.
Tesla motors, headed by billionaire Elon Musk, has been especially successful in creating a spirited efficient vehicle with their Model S, the only Tesla model currently available for the American market. Thus, the EV world was on its toes when Tesla announced Tuesday that a new model would accompany the Model S by 2016. These compact Tesla sketches were reportedly done by a Tesla intern - Hyoon Jason Kim.
Musk has been very open about the newest introduction to the Tesla family. Called only the ”Gen III car” at this point, the planned car will have an all-EV range of around 200 miles while starting at about half of the Model S’s $62,400 base price. Musk has even been overt with identifying the Gen III car’s competition: he says that he is aimed squarely at the Nissan Leaf SV, one of the cheapest and most successful EVs in the world.
The Gen III car will be significantly smaller and lighter than the Model S, posing a challenge for the placement of the massive battery packs that EVs need. To combat this, Musk plans to work in tandem with Panasonic to improve the efficiency and the size of the battery packs, making electric motoring even more feasible and affordable.
Little information was given about the design of the newest Tesla, but Musk added that the car will significantly resemble the aggressive design used in the current Model S. He also mentioned that the Gen III car could possibly utilize a self-driving system, an ambitious promise that only Google has been able to accomplish so far.
Even with its breakthrough innovations in the American auto market, Tesla motors is still encountering opposition from retailers in North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia over its ability to sell directly to consumers. Musk has been adamant in his fight against the corporations as he tries to preserve a significant portion of Tesla’s profits, but the issue remains very much up in the air. The introduction of a new, more affordable Tesla model should only help their mass appeal, helping the company stay afloat even if the retailer debate doesn’t turn out in their favor.
Please enjoy this TFLcar.com video of the Tesla Model S.