New Tesla electric car revealed in renderings – sub £18,000 pricetag for VW ID3 alternative

Nick Lette van Oostvoorne
Nick Lette van Oostvoorne
March 30, 2021

Tesla will launch an all-new electric hatchback in 2023 that’ll cost from just £18,000 and could have more than 180 miles of range. Read on for full details. 

  • New Tesla hatchback confirmed
  • Revealed in exclusive renderings
  • New tabless battery design
  • Lightweight construction
  • 180 miles of range possible
  • Fully autonomous driving promised
  • Will cost from around £18,000
  • Set to arrive in 2023

Elon Musk has confirmed Tesla will soon build its smallest and cheapest car yet – an £18,000 hatchback with some radical new battery technology. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

New Tesla Hatchback coming

Watch Mat’s video on the new Tesla hatchback

Since it launched the original Tesla Roadster in 2008, Tesla has developed a pair of saloons, a seven-seater, a small SUV a pickup truck and a drop-top supercar.

The new hatchback will be Tesla’s most affordable car ever

During the 2020 Tesla Battery Day conference, Elon Musk confirmed its next car will be the smallest and (by far) the cheapest Tesla yet. Imagine something like a Volkswagen ID3, and you’ll be on the right track.

This exclusive render shows what the new Tesla hatchback could look like

But why is Tesla making a hatchback? Well, it’s all to do with how much electric cars cost to build. When the first Tesla Roadster came out in 2008, components for electric cars were really expensive. That meant Tesla had to sell its cars for a lot of money in order to stay in business.

But since then, the cost of all these parts has dropped massively so Tesla can start selling smaller, cheaper electric cars without losing money.

Expect plenty of familiar Tesla design features on the new car

Take the Renault Zoe, for example. This electric supermini has 245 miles of range thanks to its 52kWh battery and costs less than £30,000. The original Tesla Roadster had a 53kWh battery and 230 miles of range, but it cost more than £60,000. That’s a significant improvement in 13 years…

New Tesla Hatchback battery and range

Tesla’s new batteries promise more range in a smaller package

This new Tesla hatchback is going to have a new kind of battery that’s more powerful, safer and cheaper thanks to its tabless design that uses a new kind of connector to join the individual cells together.

These are about 35% smaller than conventional batteries and can store and release more electrical energy with less risk of them overheating. Tesla says its new cars will have about 16% more range per kilowatt-hour of battery thanks to these new cells.

Check out this electric car range test

Even if this new car’s battery pack is half the capacity of the one in the Model 3 Standard Range Plus, its new ‘Tabless’ construction means it should manage at least 160 miles on a charge.

To put that into perspective, the entry-level Fiat 500 (which costs £23,000) has just 115 miles of range. That means this new Tesla will cost £5,000 less than that Fiat and could have almost 30% more range.

Watch Mat’s Fiat 500 Electric review

Tesla also plans to use the new car’s batteries as a structural part of the car’s construction. This will help make the car lighter and stronger because the batteries are doing some of the work to support the car’s underpinnings – not the other way round.

Structural battery tech will boost the new car’s range, and make it lighter and simpler to build

Tesla says its new structural batteries will have 370 fewer parts each than a normal battery, so they’ll be quicker to build and use fewer materials to make.

They’ll also help make the new car 10% lighter than a conventional electric car, which could boost the new car’s range by another 14% from around 160 miles to more like 180 miles.

New Tesla Hatchback performance

What does that mean for performance? Well, the lighter a car is, the quicker it can accelerate, because its motor, or engine, has less mass to move around. This new Tesla will probably only have 1 electric motor to keep costs down, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be slow.

Watch our Tesla Model 3 drag race

The Model 3 Standard Range Plus only has 1 electric motor, but it’ll do 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds. That’s almost half a second quicker than a Honda Civic Type R. It’s possible that this new hatchback with its lighter chassis and new, high-tech batteries could be quicker than that.

New Tesla hatchback price and specs

Elon Musk has already confirmed that the new Tesla hatchback is going to cost $25,000, which is around £18,000. That’s less than half the price of the Model 3 Standard Range Plus. That car costs £44,000 and has 278 miles of range.

The new car will cost less than half as much as an entry-level Tesla Model 3

Like the Tesla Model 3, you’ll be able to get different versions of this new Tesla hatchback. Musk has already confirmed that entry-level models will cost about £18,000, but he’s also said there’ll be a fully autonomous version along at some point.

This’ll use an upgraded version of the ‘Full Self Driving’ tech that Tesla’s testing right now. This upgrade costs just over £7,000 at the moment, but the price could come down by the time this new car goes on sale.

Can’t wait for this new car to go on sale? Check out the latest Tesla Model 3 leasing deals or compare the Top 10 electric cars on sale now.

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