Rumor: $25,000 Tesla Timeline

By Zach Shahan and Johnna Crider

We recently reported that Tesla’s $25,000 Model 2 will be sold globally, based on a report coming out of China on comments from Tesla China President Tom Zhu. However, there are a few things we should clarify before getting on to the latest news (or rumors) on this topic.

The source of the info the other day was from Tesla China President Tom Zhu giving a video interview for Xinhua Net, the Chinese state media outlet. The video below shows the interview with English subtitles (click the CC option). Zhu does not say anything is firm. He indicates that there’s a goal to produce a cheaper ($25,000) model that would be produced in China but sold globally. When pressed, he also added that he thinks that could be done within a year. But that appears to be more of an estimate or hope than any kind of firm commitment.

In particular, the question according to the translation was: “How long do you think it will take to fully achieve this goal?” And the answer was: “I think within this year. It should be possible within this year.”

I want to now dive into some of the swirling rumors that have followed and try to put together the story as well as possible.

Since this interview came out and we published on it, a more specific timeline has popped up. It indicates that the new model was “approved” in September 2020 (which seems too early to be possible to us here at CleanTechnica), product certification is coming in March 2021, and first deliveries are planned for 2022. All of that does sound surprisingly fast. …

David Wang, who shared the timeline for the $25K model made-in-China Tesla yesterday, indicates now that it’s considered a rumor and Tesla China does not confirm or deny it. More specifically, the news site that published that timeline has added an update that says, “Tesla China said this is a rumor and they did not disclose say this” (translation by David Wang).

Where are these rumors coming from? At least one follower has speculated that the rumor was created by competitors to either delay consumer demand or generate buzz. It could also lead to unnecessary drama for Tesla. Claims that this new model was approved and that it will soon be certified are bad for Tesla in China if not true, as it will get consumer hopes up pointlessly — and could cool demand for the Model 3 either way.

Tesla is most certainly working on a $25,000 “Model 2” or something like that, but the stage of development this is at is clearly now uncertain, and it is probably far too early for a real forecast regarding start of production.

Stay tuned, and let us know if you get any intel on this!



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