ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Elon Musk hosted Tesla’s much touted “big battery” event this week, promising cheaper EV batteries and lower prices for Tesla’s future cars, as well as announcing a new ultra-fast version of the Model S, CNN reported.
After enumerating improvements in Tesla’s own battery designs and manufacturing advancements that drastically reduce the price of electric batteries, Musk promised a $25,000 Tesla electric car would be available in about three years. That price is considerably cheaper than any car Tesla has made yet and closer to the budget of the average consumer, which could lead to a higher number of electric vehicles on the road eventually needing to find charging stations. When Tesla promised a $35,000 electric car, the Model 3, it was available at that price only briefly.
Musk also said that the $25,000 car would be capable of driving fully autonomously, a difficult feat because the sensors and other equipment needed for even partly autonomous driving are expensive. He also admitted that the company’s fully autonomous driving software experienced unforeseen challenges, prompting a “fundamental rewrite” of the “entire software stack,” though he did not say when that occurred.
In the past, Musk predicted that Teslas equipped with the company’s "Full Self Driving" hardware would be capable of a "coast-to-coast" autonomous trip by the end of 2017, but those deadlines were pushed back.
Musk outlined Tesla’s improvements in battery design and manufacturing capabilities. These advancements could lead to massive reductions in battery costs per kilowatt hour, a measure of a battery’s energy-holding capabilities.
Musk also predicted that future Tesla batteries will be fully recyclable so that mining lithium will no longer be necessary. Ultimately, the manufacturer hopes to make 20 million vehicles a year, a greater number than all passenger vehicles sold in the United States last year. By comparison, Volkswagen Group, which sells Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and other brands, sold 11 million vehicles worldwide in 2019.