Right now, one of the biggest obstacles Tesla Motors is facing has to do with cost. The Model S already has the ability to drive further on a single charge than any other production electric car on the market today, which has helped it break down multiple barriers as car shoppers feel more at ease about the vehicle’s range. Still, some people feel quite a bit of anxiety when they see the price tag of the Model S, which can set a person back by $70,000 or more.
After the delayed Model X is launched, Tesla is supposed to start working full-force on bringing its third model to market, the Model 3 (creating name, right?). Supposedly the car will be for the masses, allowing the mainstream public to finally own a Tesla electric car, but a report from ChargedEVs that is written by Manahem Anderman calls into question just how inexpensive the car will really be.
Basically, the report casts doubt on the economic advantages of the Gigafactory Tesla is building in Nevada, which is supposed to increase battery production and reduce production costs significantly. Anderman questions the electric carmaker’s estimates about the economy of scale of the production facility, which involves being able to make the battery packs for less than $100 per kilowatt-hour in a period of under ten years.
This certainly isn’t the first time that Tesla has faced doubt over its claims. After all, the Model S was called “vaporware” by multiple sources, right up until the car debuted and helped silence some of the most vocal critics of the company. It should be noted that Anderman organized the Advanced Automotive Batteries Conference and has quite the reputation for being pessimistic about the use of batteries in electric cars. He’s been accused of trying to douse the fires of innovation being stoked by plug-in car advocates.
Still, Anderman claims that his analysis shows the Tesla Model 3 will need to be sold at a price of somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000. That’s a big range, and overlaps with the Model S, which casts some doubt on his methodology.