What if Tesla’s $25,000 Car Is a Three-Wheel Autocycle?
Tesla is not afraid to do things differently than other auto manufacturers. The Cybertruck is a perfect example of that. Not only is it going to be one of the first few electric pickup trucks on the market, but it also has a design that challenges norms and comes with bullet resistant glass. However, conventional or not, costs are something that no manufacturer can ignore, not even Tesla. So, when Elon Musk says he would like to see Tesla enter the $25,000 market, speculation runs wild on how he will accomplish that.
Costs and technology
As battery technology has improved over recent years, the cost of manufacturing electric cars has also improved. Additionally, the public demand for electric cars has increased. So, production quotas have gone up, which has caused price points to become more tolerable in manufacturing through economies of scale. In short, it’s a circle of product life (cue the Lion King soundtrack).
Here’s the rub, though. Even with electric car sales volume increasing, and the economies of scale dropping production prices for materials, a $25,000 electric vehicle is going to be hard to achieve. So, that raises the question, Did Elon Musk introduce the idea of the $25,000 Tesla just to raise stock prices, or does he have something up his sleeve to make such a thing possible?
The Tesla Cybertruck
This is where speculation runs wild. Many people are putting out their ideas of what a $25,000 Tesla would look like and what it will include or not include. But, I want to draw your attention back to the Cybertruck for a moment as I put forward an idea. It is purely my own speculation. I have no insider knowledge of what Mr. Musk is thinking or what direction Tesla is geared to go in. But, see if you can follow my thought.
These are the three thoughts I am working off of:
- The Tesla Cybertruck proves that Mr. Musk is not afraid to be different.
- The costs of materials, in general, are going down as volume goes up of electric vehicle sales – Economies of scale.
- Regardless of cost savings in production, a $25,000 all-electric vehicle is going to be difficult to achieve (not impossible).
There is one thing that would definitely save on Tesla’s production costs. That is, having one less wheel on a vehicle. It sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. Autocycles, that is what three-wheeled vehicles are called, have been around for eons. Manufacturers have proven that having a three-wheel design improves aerodynamics as well as lowers costs.
The stability of autocycles has improved with stability control programs
Until recently, however, there have been stability concerns regarding autocycles. Some designs have shown to be more prone to rolling on a side than a normal four-wheeled vehicle. So, acceptance autocycles have not gained traction amongst the masses as some had hoped. However, having said that, technology has progressed a lot over the years and given us stability control systems. Those systems are in many cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs on the roads today. The systems can transfer power or even weight as needed to improve road-holding capability.
This brings us to the question in this post’s title, What if Tesla’s $25,000 Car Is a Three-Wheel Autocycle? As a cost-saving measure, it would seem to make sense. But it is a radical idea. However, that leads to two more questions. What if Mr. Musk is ready to challenge the status quo again and introduce a radical, three-wheeled, all-electric autocycle under the Tesla banner? Is it so far fetched to think he would do that?
Musk has a faithful following for anything he might do at Tesla
Mr. Musk has a faithful following in most anything he has put his hands to. Tesla, The Boring Company, Space-X, flamethrowers, and tequila have all been efforts he has seen people line up behind him for. If he is able to introduce a $25,000 all-electric autocycle, imagine how many minds would be blown, and then would stand in line again.
A word of caution here. I prefaced this earlier in this piece, and I feel it needs repeating. This is pure speculation on my part. I have no insider information. In fact, I have not met Mr. Musk, nor have I picked his brain. I offer the autocycle thought only as part of the larger social conversation based around possible cost savings for Tesla. I am sure Mr. Musk has something up his sleeve. What it is, is unknown to me so far.