“We will not succeed in our mission if we cannot build affordable cars. Elon Musk persists and signs: he wants to cut the grass under the feet of generalist automakers, this time by offering to build a subcompact hatchback that would be primarily intended for the European market.
"The thing that bothers me the most about our current situation is that our cars are not affordable enough," added the boss of Tesla in a conference call attended by the British magazine. Coach. We have to fix this. So it would be reasonable to assume that we are going to build a compact vehicle. "
The small electric car could thus be developed from the chassis of the current Model 3 – most likely in the new factory in Berlin that Tesla is due to open in July 2021. This would be a response from the California manufacturer to the ID .3 from Volkswagen, a small entry-level electric car due to be launched by the Teutonic giant in October.
One way to reduce the cost of a possible Tesla subcompact would be to reduce engine power, but also to rely on new technologies that will benefit the facilities in Berlin, including a patent-pending machine that allows for 'imposing aluminum molds. Thus, the Tesla monohull chassis that will come out of the German factory will consist of only two pieces and no more than 70 riveted and glued parts.
Also, Tesla intends to unveil during its "Battery Day" on September 22, details on a technology that should significantly improve the energy density of next-generation batteries. The photo announcing the event makes it possible to speculate that the next batteries would be made of silicon nanowires, which would make it possible to obtain batteries not only lighter, but also offering greater autonomy. According to a tweet from Elon Musk reported by the Jalopnik website, batteries with an energy density of "400 Wh / kg extended life cycle, produced at high volume (not just in the laboratory), are not far off." Probably three to four years ”. Current lithium-ion batteries offer an energy density of 230 Wh / kg.