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Tesla plans compact EV

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Tesla is not resting on their laurels, its CEO having recently revealed plans to create an affordable compact electric vehicle, which they plan to put up for sale early in the second half of this decade.

Just coming off the announcement that his company has paid back its US government loan in full – nine years in advance – Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk said that it is as if a weight was lifted from the manufacturer’s chest and now it can focus so much better on their future products.

Now there’s a certain level of personal pride that Tesla have because they were criticized quite a bit for first taking the government funding, even when for the first years the company was privately funded, mostly by Musk, who used the last of his money in late 2008 to keep the company afloat.

When the suggestions appeared that Tesla might be looking to be acquired by a larger company and hence have access to bigger budgets, the CEO only said that the current priority of the company is to develop and build a compact EV that is better and more desirable than the Nissan Leaf.

In his words, the Model S is a compelling car but it is much too expensive for the majority of people. On the other hand there’s the Leaf, which is a cheap option, but not very good.

He continued to say that what people really need is a great and affordable electric car – hardly an epiphany – and that he’ll not let anything go until he completes that mission.

According to Musk, this new model, planned to launch by 2017, would be capable of offering a driving range of 320km and would be priced somewhere around or below US$40,000. The Nissan Leaf is currently going for as little as US$21,300 in the US after the current government tax savings.

This future small EV is likely to be the fourth model from Tesla, and it follows the original but now-discontinued Roadster, the Model S sedan and the Model X crossover, which will be launching in the US in 2014.

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