Tesla Reportedly Postpones its $25,000 EV

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Tesla has postponed its long-teased $25,000 electric car, according to a leak.

Sources for Electrek claimed Tesla’s budget EV, codenamed NV9, wasn’t cancelled outright as Reuters previously asserted. Instead, the company is reportedly delaying work on the car to concentrate on its self-driving robotaxi initiative.

Tesla “completely defunded” NV9, the insiders claimed. Many of those involved were apparently part of the layoffs announced earlier on Monday. The cuts affected over 10% of the brand’s workforce, or more than 14,000 people.

Elon Musk denied the Reuters report that Tesla had axed the budget model, accusing the publication of “lying.” The automaker hasn’t commented on this latest report. It disbanded its public relations team years ago.

Tesla is set to unveil its robotaxi plans on August 8th. The insiders said Musk wanted his company to concentrate on expanding the Texas Gigafactory near Austin, which will reportedly house a large robotaxi datacenter.

Whether or not that happens isn’t certain. Contacts speaking to Electrek said the expansion was “behind schedule” and wasn’t guaranteed to make an end-of-August timeframe Musk wanted.

The move, if accurate, further sets back plans for more affordable EVs. Tesla has been floating the idea of a budget car for years, and used its 2020 Battery Day event to outline battery cost reductions that could have led to a $25,000 model within three years.

Both that and the robotaxi are believed to be based on a previously announced next-generation platform that allows for inexpensive EVs.

It’s not known if or when Tesla might revive efforts to make a budget machine. For now, though, this keeps the Model 3 (currently starting at $35,990) as the make’s most accessible model.  That won’t necessarily be a competitive issue when rivals like Chevy’s Equinox EV begin at $34,995, but it also won’t widen the audience for electrified vehicles.