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We’ve been hearing for years that Tesla founder Elon Musk wants an under-$25,000 car. But now a leak out of China indicates that an under-$25,000 Tesla prototype has already been made. And that testing of this new prototype is ongoing. 

Where did the Tesla rumors come from?

A red 2019 Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

On the Chinese blogging site Sina Weibo, poster 不是郑小康 revealed the information. He is notorious for being an auto-industry insider with lots of information. As China is the site of Tesla’s second factory, there are bound to be leaks that originate from there. 

As part of the leak, it was also revealed that suppliers have already started making components, and those pre-production cars will start rolling out of the factory by the end of this year. Confirming the veracity of the leaker is Tesla influencer Ray4Tesla. So, while we can only call it a rumor, a lot of validation of the source is dancing around the poster.

According to insideevs there has already been other evidence that a running cheaper model is being tested. It says that an environmental impact assessment was underway back in January. And it also indicated that running prototypes should already be running around right now. 

Confirmation also has come from Tesla China President Tom Zhu

Tesla models parked in front of a Tesla building
Tesla logo and cars | JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images

And the final confirmation came from Tesla China President Tom Zhu in February. He said a new model designed, developed, and made in the Giga Shanghai plant would be available in the not too distant future. And, he added, it would be sold worldwide, and not just in China. 

Getting this entry-level model ready for production may also be what has held back both the Cybertruck and semi-truck. Although margins for such a car will be less than the Cybertruck, The company should make it up in volume if it can hold the $25,000 price

Model 3 numbers are up a whopping 169-percent over last year

a blue Tesla Model S driving at speed on the road
Tesla Model S | Tesla

Tesla sees the most interest in its Model 3 sedan, which is also the cheapest sedan it makes. While its flagship Model S has seen sales plummet 63-percent, Model 3 numbers are up over 169-percent. The Model S has seen sales fall to a bit more than one-tenth of Model 3 numbers. 

So it seems apparent that something that falls below the $38,000 base price of a Model 3 should see some strong numbers. With that we expect spy shots to surface soon and look forward to seeing an entry-level Tesla for the masses by next year.