A decade after GM abandoned its EV1 electric vehicle program, America’s biggest automaker says that it’s planning to take another stab at the market, challenging Tesla with its own affordable electric-only car. GM officials stated that the new vehicle will cost around $30,000 and have a 200-mile range, reports the Wall Street Journal. That’s approaching the 265-mile range of Tesla’s Model S, which starts at around $70,000. GM officials declined to comment on when the car might be available.
Tesla is in early planning stages for a "compelling" $35,000 car
Rival Tesla has so far set its sights on the luxury end of the market, but is at work on its own mass-market vehicle, which CEO Elon Musk has said is still three to four years away. On an earnings call last month, Musk said Tesla is in early planning stages for a "compelling" $35,000 car with a 200-mile range, and that "no miracles are required" to make it happen.
The biggest problem standing in the way of mass-market electric vehicle production is battery cost. The Journal points out that the majority of EVs on the road have a range of under 100 miles, allowing them to keep battery costs comparatively low, but doubling that capacity and still keeping prices in the $30,000 range would be difficult. While LG Chem Power CEO Prabhakar Patil expects costs to halve by 2020, Tesla CTO JB Straubel believes his company has an ace in the hole. Speaking to the Journal, Straubel said that Tesla's battery costs are less than half of the industry’s average, and its batteries’ energy density is expected to increase by 20 percent by the time the mass-market car hits the road later this decade.