At the U.K. Model S launch event, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk confirmed that a lower-cost vehicle will be coming within the next 3 years. The lower-cost vehicle would cost around $35,000 (£25,000 in the U.K.).
Tesla Motors was originally planning to call this vehicle the “Model E,” but Ford threatened to sue Tesla if they chose that name. A new name has been decided, but Tesla is not mentioning it yet due to fears of complicating trademarks. The Model X crossover SUV is expected to start delivering in 2015. Musk also said that Tesla Motors will build an R&D center in the U.K. and maybe even a vehicle assembly plant if the demand is high enough.
“We’ll have an R&D center here before a factory,” said Musk via Pocket-Lint. “We’ll have our first European factory in continental Europe, perhaps the Netherlands, but it makes sense to have one in the UK once we’re producing more than 500,000 units. But the factory needs to be running at full capacity [to be viable].”
Musk said that Norway is Tesla’s largest European market, but is expecting the U.K. to overtake that because of its larger population. There is a 4 month waiting list for the Model S in the U.K.
Musk said that the U.K. will get four Superchargers by the end of the year. “We expect customers to be able to travel the length of the UK for free using our Superchargers within the next 18 months,” added Musk