The Tesla hatchback will usher in a new era for the carmaker. Rather than selling ultra-premium vehicles that cost more than a year’s pay, Tesla is entering the expanding low-cost EV market with a vehicle priced at $25,000.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about this car, including when it’ll be available. Despite promises of a 2023 launch, it does not appear that will materialize. But Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have given us a taste of what we can expect if this automobile ever hits the road.
Here’s all we know so far about the Tesla hatchback.
Tesla Hatchback: Price and Availability
Elon Musk has announced that the vehicle will cost $25,000 USD. It’s unclear whether it represents the complete purchase price or if it includes the “possible savings” reduction Tesla offers, which allegedly includes potential federal subsidies and gas savings.
In other words, the car may cost significantly more. Particularly because Tesla has raised its prices on a regular basis over the last year due to various supply chain difficulties. The most recent price increase was caused, at least in part, by the increased price of nickel, a critical component in many EV batteries.
In terms of release, Tesla first stated that the hatchback will be available in 2023. That was providing the car didn’t suffer from delays, which Tesla is all too accustomed with. In fact, given the delays with both the Cybertruck and the Roadster, the hatchback appears to be on hold.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has affirmed that the company is “not actively working on a $25K automobile.” Apparently, the manufacturer is more concerned with ramping up the manufacturing of existing vehicles, such as the Model X, and the impending debut of the Cybertruck.
Musk later confirmed that the Cybertruck, Roadster, and Tesla Semi truck will be available in 2023. Or, at the very least, that is the intention if further supply chain delays do not occur. There has been no word on the $25k hatchback, and it is unlikely that we will see it next year.
Tesla Hatchback: Performance and Range Speculation
We don’t know anything about the performance of the Tesla hatchback at this stage because Tesla hasn’t revealed anything about the motor. Given the car’s price and projected size, though, it’s likely that it will only have a single electric motor, though whether it will be the front or rear-wheel drive is unknown.
Tesla has yet to create a front-wheel-drive vehicle, so rear-wheel-drive appears to be the more likely candidate.
We have exactly as few confirmed details about the range. Having said that, Elon Musk previously stated that the Standard Range Tesla Model Y would be retired in early 2021 because of its limited range of 244 miles. Musk clearly believes that anything less than 250 is “unacceptably low.”
So, unless Tesla has made a significant conceptual shift in the last year, we may expect a minimum of 250 miles from the Tesla hatchback.
Tesla hatchback: Battery
While we don’t know what kind of battery capacity to expect, Tesla has already made some huge claims about the battery in the Hatchback. There are indications that it will be powered by the new 4680 battery cells, which will also be utilized in the Tesla Cybertruck and the 2022 Model Y.
The 4680 cells have a table design that promises to provide six times the power and five times the energy capacity of comparable batteries while lowering costs. That is why the manufacturer is able to achieve the coveted $25K price tag, something no other EV in North America has achieved.
The cheapest vehicle on the market right now is the $25,200 Chevrolet Bolt, or the $27,400 2022 Nissan Leaf with the full federal EV tax credit.
The battery will also assist sustain the hatchback’s underpinnings, reducing the car’s overall weight. When combined with the smaller, lighter design, Tesla estimates that the hatchback’s range will be increased by 14%.
It’s unclear what charging speeds to expect with this vehicle, however, it will almost certainly be compatible with Tesla’s supercharger network. We’d be astonished if it didn’t have the same 250kW peak power as other Teslas. Read also; 2023 Tesla Roadster: What We Know So Far
Tesla Hatchback: Design
We haven’t seen any design data or renderings of the Tesla hatchback, which appears to be on purpose. However, because a hatchback is a highly specific design, we should expect some sort of Tesla-ified vehicle that looks like a cross between a Tesla Model Y and a Nissan Leaf or VW ID.3.
It’s also safe to assume that most of the standard Tesla amenities, such as the company’s infotainment system and access to the supercharger network, will be accessible in the new hatchback.
What we do know is that the car will include some sort of Autopilot, with Elon Musk stating that the vehicle will be “totally autonomous.” We suspect it will have Level 5 autonomy, in which the car does all of the jobs and there is no need for a human in the driver’s seat.
We anticipate that Tesla’s ‘Full Self Driving’ Autopilot will be available, allowing the vehicle to navigate itself on highways and possibly even city streets. As long as there is an attentive human behind the wheel, ready to take over at any time.
What will it be called?
Tesla hasn’t confirmed the name of its new hatchback, but some outlets have dubbed it the ‘Model 2’ — presumably, because it’s smaller and less expensive than Tesla’s current entry-level car, the Model 3.
However, Elon Musk has already refuted(opens in new tab) that particular issue, therefore destroying any prospect of the Model 2 being named. Not that it was particularly likely if Tesla followed the naming practices of its past vehicles. Following that, Elon Musk purposefully named the Model S through Y since the letters spelled out the word ‘Sexy.’
Or it would have if Ford didn’t own the rights to the moniker ‘Model E,’ forcing Tesla to use the number 3 instead.
But where does Elon Musk’s very juvenile Tesla naming practice go from here? Sexy is a complete word in and of itself, thus Hatchback’s letter would have to begin spelling a completely new word.
That is, assuming Tesla opts for one and does not, like the Tesla Roadster, name the hatchback something more mundane. ‘Tesla Hatchback’, on the other hand, doesn’t exactly have the same ring to it as ‘Model H.’ Read More; Starlink antennas are reportedly being installed at some Tesla charging stations.
Tesla Hatchback: The Future
The Tesla Hatchback still has a lot of unknowns, but it appears that Tesla will deliver the same ‘Tesla experience’ in a car that is both cheaper and smaller than its present lineup. That’s a fantastic thing, and ideally, it means the company’s numerous competitors will follow suit and launch low-cost high-range electric vehicles.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what happens, as well as whether this car arrives in 2023. It’s all well and well fantasizing about what could be, only to have the car, like so many other Tesla models before it, be delayed. But we have high hopes, and we believe Tesla will pull this one off without a hitch.