Rumours of Tesla’s planned $25k hatchback accelerate, Tesla China says not so fast

Rumours around Tesla’s next electric vehicle (EV) are intensifying as Chinese media and Tesla analysts are saying the first deliveries could begin next year.

During the company’s Battery Day event in September 2020, CEO Elon Musk revealed they will be building a $25,000 EV. No firm timeline for the launch of the EV was given, sometimes called the ‘Model 2’, with Musk only saying it would arrive within 3 years.

If the latest rumours are true, Musk is once again underpromising and overdelivering.

According to Chinese Media IT Home (via David Wang), the design of the hatchback EV is already approved. This is the same information published by Sina Motors last month. The publication added that ‘product certification’ would be complete in March 2021, the same date sources told Drive Tesla last month that prototypes of the vehicles would be ready.

The first deliveries would then begin in 2022.

In response to IT Home’s original story, Tesla China denied the rumours simply saying “the rumors have never been said” (translation from Chinese).

“Official response: A person from Tesla China responded to a reporter from the Science and Technology Innovation Board today that the rumors have never been said.”

Separately, Tesla analyst @TroyTeslike and former Tesla investor Gary Black backed up the possibility of an earlier than planned ‘Model 2’ release. According to Troy, the small EV will actually have more than one version, but the first will be a hatchback.

He added that Tesla’s production roadmap has shifted. The “next gen” Model 3 with 4680 cells and an integrated battery pack has been moved back to 2023 (and maybe even cancelled), with the ‘Model 2’ taking its place and moving its release up to 2022.

Black confirmed the information, saying sources had revealed to him a similar timeline.

All of this information comes less than a week after Tesla China President Tom Zhu said their new R&D Center was already under construction. During an interview with Chinese media, Zhu revealed the $25,000 EV will be sold around the world.

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