(Pocket-lint) - Tesla is probably the best known premium electric car offering on the roads right now, but that's about to change. Tesla is going to become affordable.
Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, recently announced that the next line of cars will be aimed at everyone. The Tesla Model 3 will finally bring the Tesla price tag to a level that more people can afford.
The current Model S starts at just over £55,000, going up to nearly £100,000 for the top end model. This puts it out of the reach of many people wishing to go electric.
Initially the Model 3 was thought to be a $35,000 car, which should be about £30,000 in the UK. New reports suggest that name actually represents an entire line of vehicles. Tesla says Model 3 will represent "both sedan and crossover variants".
So the Model 3 isn't only a BMW 3 Series challenger?
These photographs appear to show off Tesla's answer to the BMW 3 Series. But there are more in the range to appeal to families too. Although photos of others haven't appeared yet.
The idea is to aim the Model 3 range at families. Until now the Model S has been aimed at those who want executive level vehicles. The next car, before the Model 3 range appears, is the larger Model X SUV – but this is also aimed at a specific, expensive sports utility vehicle buyer.
What can we expect from the Model 3?
Tesla says that the smaller Model 3 vehicles will be able to manage a range of 200-miles on a charge. Not too far off the base Model S that goes 240-miles. The cars will have access to Tesla's Supercharger network for free, fast charging. Again, the same as the Model S cars do now.
The new Model 3 car, one of them at least, is rumoured to be about 20 per cent smaller than the current Model S. Since crossovers were mentioned we can expect a small SUV-style car that offers the size of a larger car without the more expensive extras.
Very little else has been revealed but with Tesla's plans to offer self-driving cars first we'd expect the Model 3 range to be ready. Since Tesla has already developed the sensors necessary for autonomous driving we can't see why they wouldn't be in this range too.
When can we expect the Model 3?
Tesla Model 3 should arrive in some form or other by 2017. Whether that means just one car or the complete range isn't clear.
Tesla is currently building a giant battery production facility it calls Gigafactory.
This will likely be used to help churn out mass-market production cars like the Model 3 once it's been finished. This factory should run on clean energy making the newer cars more eco-friendly, from production to road, than ever before.