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Long-range, lower cost compact Tesla due in 2016

The car will be based on a new, smaller platform rumoured to be going head to head with the compact executive class, and Musk confirmed the company was working with partners including Panasonic to develop a new generation of batteries with a range in excess of 200 miles to power it.

‘The biggest single challenge for electric vehicles is affordability,’ Musk said. ‘Say hypothetically one could build the model s for half the price that it currently costs, I think we would see extremely widespread adoption for the model s. The other thing that has to be solved is long distance travel.

‘If those two things can be solved, i think that’s what’s needed for there to be a huge tipping point in favour of electric cars. We’re trying to advance that as fast as we can.’

The Model S begins shipping to Europe at the end of the month and Asia at the end of the year. Tesla is is predicting annual sales to reach between 30,000 and 40,000 units, with fleet customers a key target for European markets.

Alex Grant

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