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  • The Tesla Roadster is put on hold for 2022
  • Musk says the brand isn’t working on their cheap $25K EV right now
  • The brand needed to shift its focus to producting existing models

“We are currently not working on the $25,000 car.” Elon Musk shared this news during Tesla‘s fourth-quarter earnings call with shareholders. In a market that desperately hurts for a mainstream, cheap EV, the biggest horse in the race has just backed out. For now, at least. Oh, and that $250,000 you shelled out for the Tesla Roadster Founder’s Edition won’t be materializing into a car anytime soon either.

A red Tesla Model 3 in front of one of the brand's showrooms
Tesla production dropped sharply in 2021, like many others | John Thys via Getty Images

Tesla killed its $25,000 EV to focus on production

The reason, according to Musk, is there’s- and I’ll put this as plainly as I can- just too much going on at Tesla right now. In fairness, this wasn’t hard to see coming. A lot of it isn’t even the brand’s fault. You know the sad semiconductor story by now, and it hit tech-heavy EV makers particularly hard. EV-en EV newcomer Rivian and their R1T EV truck had delays in its production.

The other side of this coin is somewhat less empathetic. Elon opened two new factories last year, one in Berlin and one in Texas. Both are currently cranking out pre-production models that’ll be used to help Tesla catch up on demand as quickly as possible. Elon also told shareholders he plans to scout even more factory locations over the course of the next year.

Elon Musk says the Tesla Roadster isn’t coming in 2022

A rendering of the Tesla Roadster on a canyon road in California
The Roadster remains far from reality for at least another year | Tesla

With any luck, the added production volume will mean some as-yet-unmade EVs get made. See, it’s not just the still-fictional Tesla Roadster that won’t make it into 2022. No new T-badged models will be making it into 2022. That includes the Tesla robot guy-in-a-suit thing, the Cybertruck, and the Tesla Semi. The last new model to roll off any of Elon’s production lines was the Model Y back in 2019.

Simply put, the brand needs new models. But, the automaker also needs to catch up to the existing demand for current models. It’s catch-22 over in Palo Alto. All the while, other automakers are starting to eat away at the lead Musk has built over the years. The Lucid Air has come to best the Model S, and Rivian’s R1T beat the Cybertruck to market. And no one had even heard of Rivian when Musk broke the window of the Cybertruck on stage.

Musk’s baby needed to shift its focus

A black Model S is assembled in the brand's Fremont, CA factory
Tesla’s Fremont factory has had a tough time with production | Mason Trinca via Getty Images

That said, this shift is something that needed to happen at Tesla. The brand has long been admonished for its quality issues by the likes of Consumer Reports and others. Now, it’s time for Musk and co. to crank out the backlog so that the brand can continue to move forward. And if there’s one thing we know Tesla can do, it’s move forward.


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