Tesla Motors plans to take the electric car mainstream with the Tesla Model III. Their current electric vehicle, the Model S, sells for an average price tag of about $90,000. Their next model, called the Model X, is set to release sometime in the next year and will be a crossover with a price tag of about two thirds of that. They had hinted at a third model to come after that one, designated the Model E.
We'll wait while you put those letter together and see what really sells here (Hint: it is not electric motors or batteries).
Tuesday, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk officially announced the expected rollout date for the new, affordable model from the company. The Tesla Model III was renamed due to trademark problems with using E (the name "Model E" is owned by Ford). That's Model III, or three, since it will be the company's third model and will be priced in the thirty thousand dollar range (they are targeting $35,000).
Why a "III" instead of a "3"? Well, according to USA Today, it's because the three bars can be turned sideways to bring that S-E-X back. We encourage you to comment below on what you think of that. It should be noted that the final badging for the car has not been released, so we only have Elon's word for it being three horizontal lines rather than verticals.
All of this was revealed in an exclusive interview with AutoExpress, an automotive site in the United Kingdom which claimed that the Model III will be competitive to the BMW 3 Series. Confirmation of that was tweeted by the official Twitter account for Tesla Motors, image captures of which can be found on an earlier Inquisitr article.
The new $35,000 Tesla Model III will be the company's "mainstream" vehicle competing in the compact car segment, currently dominated by the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra. Although this price point will not put the Model III into competition with those vehicles, nor with the best-selling electric car on the market today, the Nissan LEAF, as a premium-level electric car with a much longer range than the LEAF, the Model III would have a marketing advantage at that price point.
Tesla also tends to accentuate performance and the strengths of the electric powertrain, so it's likely that the Model III would have a sportier look and drive than do most cars in the EV niche.
We can expect to see the designs for the Tesla Model III begin to unveil in 2016 after the Model X begins production.