Everything we know about the $42k Tesla Model 2

Jet Sanchez
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A render of the Tesla Model 2. featuring a Cybertruck-inspired design. Photo / Motor1.com

A render of the Tesla Model 2. featuring a Cybertruck-inspired design. Photo / Motor1.com

The buzz surrounding Tesla's purported US$25,000 electric car, often referred to as the Tesla Model 2, has been growing since Elon Musk confirmed the project during the 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting and Battery Day​​. Though Tesla has not yet unveiled an official name for this budget-friendly electric vehicle (EV), the media and EV enthusiasts have affectionately dubbed it the Model 2, despite Musk's assertion that "Model 2 is not a car. There’s no Model 2" during the 2021 annual shareholder meeting​​.

The Model 2 is part of Tesla's broader ambition to democratise electric mobility by introducing a more affordable electric car to the market. Here's a roundup of what has been speculated or revealed about this much-anticipated EV:

Design and manufacturing

The Tesla Model 2 is expected to be a compact car or a high-riding crossover, with a design likely originating from China as it could be one of its major markets. Some sources speculate that the vehicle could be manufactured in several regions, including China and Europe, aligning with Tesla's belief that cars sold on a continent should be manufactured on that continent​.


Tesla Robotaxi concept
The two-seater Tesla Robotaxi concept.


Adding to the allure of the Tesla Model 2 is its design inspiration drawn from the Tesla Cybertruck, as revealed in Elon Musk's upcoming biography by Walter Isaacson. It is also shown here as a render originated by Motor1.com During a meeting in February 2023, Musk showcased concept vehicles for both the Model 2 and a robotaxi, both carrying a "futuristic design akin to the Cybertruck"​​. This narrative was further supported by an image of a Cybertruck-inspired Tesla robotaxi concept, featuring angular edges and a compact, bold design reminiscent of the Cybertruck's unique aesthetic.

Performance and battery

Despite its lower price point, the Model 2 is not expected to compromise on performance. It's speculated that the EV will come with Full Self-Driving (FSD) as standard and offer a range of 650-800km in its top-spec variant. A smaller battery is anticipated for the base variant, but the exact capacity is yet to be known. 

On April 5, 2023, Tesla confirmed a 53 kWh LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery pack for a low-cost model in its Master Plan Part 3 document, which could be the designated battery for the Model 2​​. Tesla's new 4680 cells, known for being economical and energy-dense, are also expected to feature in the Model 2, promising a travel range of 400 to 500km​.

Expected launch

The Model 2 is expected to make its debut around 2025, though some reports hint at a potential unveiling in 2024. Regardless of the exact timeline, Tesla fans are eagerly awaiting this compact, budget-friendly model that aims to significantly lower the entry barrier to electric mobility​​.

Tesla Model 2 pricing: is it coming to New Zealand?

The Model 2 is set to be Tesla's most affordable offering yet, with a target price of USD 25,000 or around $42,000. This price point is seen as a significant step towards achieving price parity between electric and gasoline vehicles, which could drive a larger consumer shift towards electric mobility​​.

As for a New Zealand release, neither Tesla nor insider sources have confirmed local availability. However, the Model 3 and Model Y are currently available in the country. This doesn't necessarily guarantee a local launch for the Model 2, but it certainly makes things more plausible.

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