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Car News : 2014 Detroit Auto Show

Cheaper Tesla Model E Expected to Debut at 2015 Detroit Show

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author photo by Doug DeMuro
  • Tesla Model E expected at 2015 Detroit Auto Show
  • Model E will be a more affordable Tesla, priced around $40,000
  • Tesla preparing to launch its Model X crossover next year

Tesla Motors will roll out a more affordable electric car in early 2015, with sales expected to start sometime the following year. That's the latest from the California-based electric vehicle manufacturer, currently known for the popular -- and pricey -- Model S electric sedan. 

Expected to be called the Model E, the latest Tesla will likely make its debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. While that may sound like a long way away, the Detroit show is typically held in the first few weeks of the year -- so we may see Tesla's newest model in just over a year. 

Obviously, that's big news for shoppers interested in going electric for their next car. But bigger news still is the fact that the Model E will likely cost far less than Tesla's current offering, the luxurious Model S sedan. While Tesla hasn't officially announced pricing, many sources suggest the car will be in the mid-$40,000 range -- not much more than currently available electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt.

By entering a more affordable segment, Tesla could earn huge sales from EV-hungry shoppers. Sales of the brand's Model S sedan have already taken off, despite a relatively high base price of around $71,000. In some markets, Model S sales rival those of established luxury cars such as the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series

Tesla has not yet revealed any other finalized details about the upcoming Model E -- and probably with good reason. The reason is that the automaker is focused on launching the Model X crossover, which was first revealed in early 2012. While sales are scheduled to start next fall, a final design has not yet been shown. Concept versions featured gull-wing doors for easy seat access -- an exciting item, but one that may not sit well with shoppers who have low garages. 

Keep checking back for more information, as we'll have more details about Tesla's upcoming Model E -- and the Model X crossover -- as we learn it. 

What it means to you: With its lower price, the new Tesla Model E could find big sales among shoppers eager to drive an electric vehicle.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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Cheaper Tesla Model E Expected to Debut at 2015 Detroit Show