Maybe Tesla Didn't Cancel the Affordable EV After All, Or Did It?

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Following Tesla has always been a whiplash-inducing experience. The will they, won’t they themes continue in 2024, as the automaker recently reversed its reported decision to nix affordable EV plans, though the flip appears related to less-than-stellar first-quarter performance.

Tesla’s first-quarter net income dropped a whopping 55 percent to $1.1 billion, and revenue tumbled nine percent. After facing what it said were logistics challenges related to conflicts in the Middle East, protests at its German Gigafactory, and the slow ramp-up of the new Model 3’s production, the automaker’s investors apparently needed a steroid shot.

They got that injection with Tesla’s announcement that it would “Accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025.”

The previously reported cancellation of Tesla’s affordable EV also went out the door, at least on paper. “These new vehicles, including more affordable models, will utilize aspects of the next generation platform as well as aspects of our current platforms and will be able to be produced on the same manufacturing lines as our current vehicle lineup,” the statement read.

CEO Elon Musk would not elaborate on those future products and didn’t confirm the long-expected $25,000 car. He did note that Tesla would give more detail on its plans when it debuts its robotaxi plans in August.

While it’s worth noting that the automaker and Musk never confirmed the cancellation of the cheap EV, it’s also hard to imagine an accelerated product being good news for anyone. The Cybertruck had almost five years of development before reaching the market, and it’s had one quality issue after another. Just imagine that level of build quality, but it’s rushed.

[Image: Kovop via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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8 of 61 comments
  • Vatchy Vatchy on Apr 24, 2024

    FSD never has been so what is with the hype about robo-taxis? You would need the first in order for the second to work.

    • See 3 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Apr 26, 2024

      "Mr. Musk is a Confidence Man & White Nationalist, so don't expect White Nationalist Motors to make FSD work or to make a robo-taxi. Mr. Musk will continue to encourage his White Nationalist Cause and encourage Hate Crimes as long as people continue to use his White Nationalist Social Media unfortunately..."

      Very racist to talk about an African American immigrant like that.

  • D D on Apr 25, 2024

    Screw Tesla. There are millions of affordable EVs already in use and widely available. Commonly seen in Peachtree City, GA, and The Villages, FL, they are cheap, convenient, and fun. We just need more municipalities to accept them. If they'll allow AVs on the road, why not golf cars?

    • See 1 previous
    • D D on Apr 25, 2024

      I try on a daily basis, but fail spectacularly. Never considered just being serious.

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
  • Rover Sig "Value" is what people perceive as its worth. What is the worth or value of an EV somebody creates out of a used car? People value different things, but for a vehicle, people generally ascribe worth in terms of reliability, maintainability, safety, appearance and style, utility (payload, range, etc.), convenience, operating cost, projected life, support network, etc. "Value for money" means how much worth would people think it had compared to competing vehicles on the market, in other words, would it be a good deal to buy one, compared to other vehicles one could get? Consider what price you would have to ask for it, including the parts and labor you put into it, because that would affect the “for the money” part of the “value for money” calculation. An indicator of whether people think an EV-built-in-a-used-car would provide "value for money" is the current level of demand for used cars turned into EVs. Are there a lot of people looking for these on the market? Or would building one just be a hobby? Repairing an existing EV, bringing it back into spec, might create better value for the money. Although demand for EVs is reportedly down recently.
  • ToolGuy Those of you who aren't listening to the TTAC Podcast, you really don't know what you are missing.