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Speaking on an earnings call tonight, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said he’s optimistic that the company can produce a $35,000 car with a 200-mile range in a few years. “I feel pretty good about it,” he said. It will take “a huge amount of work,” he said. “But no miracles are required.”

Such a car would be close to the average cost of a car sold in the United States, yet it would offer more than twice the range of most electric cars. Paired with Tesla’s supercharging stations—and battery swap stations it will install later this year—this could make electric cars far more practical than they are now ” (see “How Tesla Is Driving Electric Car Innovation” and “Forget Battery Swapping: Tesla Aims to Charge Electric Cars in Five Minutes”).

One challenge to mass market electric vehicles: selling half a million cars will require more batteries than the entire laptop industry, Musk says. So we’ll need more battery factories. Tesla already uses millions of battery cells a week at its factory, which produces just under 500 cars a week.

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Tagged: electric vehicles, Tesla Motors, batteries, Elon Musk, Model S

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