Tesla to launch cheap electric car in four years

tesla-model-xTesla is planning to introduce a much cheaper electric car aimed at mainstream consumers. So far Tesla has focused on upmarket designs, like the sporty Roadster and Model S. However, with the upcoming quasi-hatch Model X it tried to tap a lower end market.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says that the company’s next low-end vehicle should have range of 200 miles on a single charge and a much more appealing $40,000 price tag. This means that it will be much closer to big brand cars like the Nissan Leaf and Renault Fluence ZE, but it will still be a bit pricier.

Musk said the Leaf is simply not up to the job and pointed out that although it is cheap, it is not great. Although it seems to be taking the taking the mainstream market a bit more seriously, Musk said the company’s priority will be the Model S, although the affordable car project is not far behind.

He says the world simply needs a great and affordable electric car, something that has eluded electric car makers for years. With a $40,000 price tag, Tesla could come a step closer, but even at 200 miles range still remains a problem.

Musk also downplayed talk of a possible takeover. He wants to stay in the game until he comes up with his “great, affordable electric car.”

“Tesla just seems very expensive [to other automakers],” said Musk. “I’d guess it would come from outside the auto industry. It would be a buyer with a very large cash position.”

If the buyer is likely to come from “outside the auto industry,” what about the tech industry then? Who has billions to burn, and likes to think different?