Musk: 435-mile range coming soon, compact Tesla hatchback considered for Europe

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said an electric car with 435 miles of range is coming soon, and that Tesla is considering a hatchback model for Europe, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Addressing a European battery conference, Musk said improved versions of existing Tesla models would achieve that new range benchmark, adding that a long-term development goal is […]

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said an electric car with 435 miles of range is coming soon, and that Tesla is considering a hatchback model for Europe, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Addressing a European battery conference, Musk said improved versions of existing Tesla models would achieve that new range benchmark, adding that a long-term development goal is to reach 1,000 kilometers of range—equivalent to 621 miles.

Because Musk was speaking to a European conference, it’s unclear whether he was referring to EPA-rated range, or the European WLTP testing cycle.

Granted, the difference between the two testing protocols isn’t that great on Tesla terms. According to Tesla’s website, the current WLTP range for the Model 3 Long Range is 580 kilometers (360 miles), compared to 353 miles in the U.S.

Tesla Model S Plaid

Tesla Model S Plaid

Most of Tesla’s lineup got a range boost rather recently. All versions of the Model 3, Model X, and Model Y got range increases of varying amounts, according to Tesla’s website.

Prior to that, the Model S Long Range Plus got an EPA-rated of 402 miles, making it the first production electric car to break the 400-mile range barrier. The Model S Plaid variant arriving in 2021 is expected to have a 520-mile range. For perhaps the first time, Tesla is under pressure to increase range, as the Lucid Air is being advertised with a maximum 517-mile range.

In the same talk, Musk also suggested a vehicle with a 620-mile (1,000-km) range was being developed, and hinted that Tesla’s new German factory could build smaller cars aimed at the European urban market, possibly including a hatchback.

This jibes with a previous Musk statement that Tesla would launch a $25,000 small car by 2023, with battery advances enabling that lower price point.