According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk who spoke with Automotive News, the company will launch a small electric sedan in late 2016. Of course, this information was known already, but what’s new is that the so-called “Gen-III” vehicle will carry about the same price tag as the Nissan Leaf EV. What is more interesting is that the new Gen-III” vehicle will have a range of at least 200 miles, which means that it will have triple the real-world range.
Regarding the looks, Elon Musk said that the GEN II will have a "family resemblance" in design to the current lineup. Moreover, the electric vehicle will offer "some autopilot or self-driving elements", but Musk also added that those features might not be ready when the car will go on sale.
"A significant improvement in technology is needed to have a compelling affordable electric car. To be compelling, it must have a useful range of 200 miles," Musk said.
Furthermore, Musk said that Tesla is currently working with Panasonic on new battery-cell electrochemistry for automotive use and he added that he is pretty optimistic that advances in energy storage and density technology can be made.
Regarding the Tesla Model S, the American company is holding steady at a rate of about 15,000 units a year. Tesla will begin shipping cars to Europe in late June, while in Asia the Model S will be available in the fourth quarter this year. Tesla expects to deliver 21,000 units this year. [source: automotive news - sub. required]