It looks like after Tesla actually releases the Cybertruck, we might get the Cybertruck mini.
Tesla has been working for years to get to a point of scale where it could realistically debut an electric vehicle that costs only $25,000. CEO Elon Musk has long-promised this move, saying that such a vehicle — at that price point — was essential in order to move the world to renewable energy. While we knew that the company was working on this next-generation EV, we didn’t really know what it was going to look like. Now, we might have a clue.
As reported by Axios, Walter Isaacson, the author who is set to publish his biography of Tesla, SpaceX, and X (formerly known as Twitter) CEO Elon Musk on September 12th, talked to the outlet about the company’s plan to build it’s long-expected $25,000 electric vehicle. According to the report, the next-generation EV, instead of looking like a Model 3, is actually more likely to look like the company’s soon-to-be-released Cybertruck.
According to Isaacson, Musk said that “when one of these comes around a corner, people will think they are seeing something from the future” when he saw the design of the anticipated EV. However, the CEO apparently almost killed the $25,000 electric car despite publicly pushing for it. The report says that Musk had been pushing for years internally to, instead of releasing the $25,000 EV, to instead release a fleet of robo-taxis using the company’s Full Self Driving technology.
Musk wanted the vehicles to feature no steering wheel, no pedals, and no mirrors. The CEO reportedly took the author that robotaxis was the future of the company and the path to Tesla becoming a $10 trillion dollar company.
“Let me be clear,” Musk said slowly. “This vehicle must be designed as a clean robotaxi. We’re going to take that risk. It’s my fault if it f–ks up. But we are not going to design some sort of amphibian frog that’s a halfway car. We are all in on autonomy.”
Apparently, Tesla’s longtime chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, and others were eventually able to convince Musk that they could build both the robo-taxi and the $25,000 EV on its next-generation engineering platform. According to Issacson, Holzhausen pointed out that “if we go down a path of having no steering wheel, and FSD is not ready, we won’t be able to put them on the road.” After seeing the designs for both vehicles, Musk agreed to move forward with both concepts.
The $25,000 Tesla EV is definitely coming. The company teased its production estimates at its Master Plan Part 3 event over the summer. Tesla also confirmed that it will start production of the next-generation electric vehicle at its upcoming Gigafactory in Mexico, which the company officially announced earlier this year.
Issacson’s biography of Elon Musk is set to hit bookshelves on Tuesday, September 12th. If these excerpts are any indication of what the rest of the book will be like, it sounds like it will be a truly fascinating read about one of the most influential and controversial technologists of our time.