Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he's "excited" about designing new all-electric vehicles with wholly new formats, during a three-day live-stream of the European Conference on Batteries later share on YouTube user Christian Bauman's channel.
Elon Musk teases world with possibility of new Tesla cars
This happened when Musk was asked what his plans were to design original vehicles at Tesla's Giga Shanghai facility, in addition to the forthcoming Giga Berlin facility.
"I think for a lot of the best people they really want to work somewhere where they're doing original design work," said Musk during the live stream. "They don't want to just be doing, say, the European version of something that was designed in California. I think it's important, in order to attract the best talent, to do original design."
Musk even gave a hint at the look of the new car, saying it could design a smaller car at the Berlin facility, reports Inverse.
"I think possibly in Europe it would make sense to do...I guess a compact car, so perhaps a hatchback or something like that," said Musk during the live stream.
Tesla completes three-way strategy to enter mass market
These new comments unveil more of Tesla's plans for future cars. At present, the company sells four different cars: a sedan at entry-level (Model 3) and high-end design (Model S), in addition to an SUV model with similar options (Model Y and Model X).
Tesla aims to release the Cybertruck in late 2021 -- which will be the company's third vehicle priced at less than $50,000 -- as the final part of Musk's triple strategy to enter the mass market. Once the truck is out, Tesla plans to release a second-generation Roadster with high-end specs. Additionally, the firm also aims to release a Semi-truck for the larger industry.
We've known the Roadster and Cybertruck are on the way for years, but neither has yet to hit the roads. After these new vehicles hit the market, Tesla's ultimate plans are harder to parse. When Cybertruck was first unveiled in Nov. 2019, Musk claimed it would be the last product from the company "for a while."
Elon Musk hinted at new Tesla lineups several times
However, Musk has since dropped several hints about upcoming Tesla models. During the handover event for Giga Shanghai's initial lineup in Jan. 2020, Musk said he planned to "design an original car in China for worldwide consumption... I think China has some of the best art in the world and I think it's something that would be appreciated on a worldwide basis."
Later, during the firm's July 2020 earnings call, Musk said it "would be reasonable to assume that we would make a compact vehicle of some kind, you know, and probably a higher capacity passenger vehicle of some kind."
Then during the Battery Day technology presentation in Sept. of this year, Musk added Tesla plans to make a $25,000 car in the "long term."
Musk acknowledges different needs for cars in Europe
The new forthcoming Giga Berlin design would likely focus on local preferences, suggested Musk during the Tuesday interview. "What do most people want in a given region, or what is a very popular approach to take? In the U.S. the cars tend to be bigger for personal taste reasons, and in Europe tends to be smaller. If you're trying to park in a dense urban environment, having a car that actually fits in a parking space easily is important. I was driving a Model X around Berlin and we had quite a bit of trouble finding a parking space that we could fit."
"I'm excited about doing some original design in Europe," added Musk.
Tesla's first cars designed specifically for European roads
Smaller cars are the wiser choice for the European market, especially when we consider how the lower gas prices and longer driving distances typically move U.S. buyers toward bigger cars.
While Musk has spoken about building a smaller Cybertruck for the European market, the forthcoming mystery cars would be the first designed specifically for the continent. But until Tesla's smaller cars hit roads in Berlin, we'll be here, waiting in earnest.