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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on August 6th, 2018 | by Kyle Field


Tesla Building Mini-Car For Adults

August 6th, 2018 by  

Like it or not, most news from Tesla is broken on Twitter these days. CEO Elon Musk opens up about the latest developments from the company on a regular basis, sometimes as a teaser and sometimes to gather feedback. Yesterday, he tweeted about a new offering that’s already in the works at Tesla that admittedly sounds a bit too weird to be true, but as with all things Elon, it’s hard to know if he’s serious. (The Boring Company seemed to be a big joke but ended up very real.)

Elon shared that Tesla is working on a new mini-car that can “squeeze in an adult.” The future of personal electric vehicles is definitely up in the air, but it’s also not something we’ve seen Tesla interested in to date as it continues to pursue the electrification of the world’s worst polluting transportation solutions, starting with higher end passenger vehicles and leaning into heavy-duty Class 8 semi trucks.

Imagining what a single-passenger Tesla vehicle might look like, the first thing that comes to mind is low cost. With the Tesla Model 3 expected to be released at a $35,000 price point in coming months and demand far exceeding the capacity to actually produce the thing, it’s mind-numbing to imagine what a single-passenger vehicle could do. Cutting out 75% of the passenger space and 75% of the price could mean yet another Tesla revolution.

Anyone interested in a $10,000 Tesla? Granted, it’s all just speculation at this point, but the fact that he’s not just noodling about in a hypothetical chat about what’s possible but is instead talking about what they’re already working on lends credibility to dream that a single-passenger Tesla in the future.

These small electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common in urban centers like Amsterdam, where startup e-Ride rents out small golf cart looking electric vehicles made by Biro that are more than competent for urban travel. A few members of our team spotted these two-seat electric mini-cars in Amsterdam. The fact that they are being used in such weather makes it clear that these are competent four-season vehicles. The Biro Urban edition sells for just over €12,000 ($14,000), validating the possibility of a $10,000 single-seat electric vehicle.

I don’t know that this would be enough for most people to ditch their traditional automobiles, but if it could move people around for a lower cost in a safer, autonomous vehicle, it’s not hard to imagine that it would be wildly successful.

We’ll see what the future holds for this product concept. In the meantime, let us know if you think a single-passenger Tesla is actually in the cards from the man who seemingly has no problem attempting to tackle as many world problems as he can in a lifetime.

By the way, if you’re confused about the reference to “Radio Flyer,” check out that link or this story: “Radio Flyer Introduces Electric Tesla For Kids, Starting At $499.”

eRide images credit: Benedikt Sperling


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I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. TSLA investor.

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