More details have emerged about the proposed new entry-level Tesla, which would potentially vie with the likes of the Nissan Leaf and Vauxhall Ampera for low-emission sales.

Primary shareholder Elon Musk confirmed to investors that the company is developing a smaller battery-powered model, known as the Gen III.

Musk is quoted as saying: "It will probably arrive at the end of 2016 I would say - the third-generation vehicle, or the vehicle that is in a lot of ways a smaller version of the Tesla Model S at about half the price."
Although UK pricing of the Tesla Model S has yet to be confirmed, that means a likely entry price for the Gen III model of around £30,000 if government grants are ongoing.

Musk also revealed more details about the Tesla Model X crossover, which is scheduled to be launched later this year. The Model X is all-electric and uses the same running gear as the Model S. It seats seven and is notable for the 'falcon' door arrangement of its concept.

Musk said: "Because the battery is in the floor-pan, it should have the lowest centre gravity of any SUV and as a result, extremely good handling. We want to have something that has the handling of a sports car and also looks great, but has more functionality than a minivan. We're aiming to have initial cars in customer hands at the end of next year."

Musk also confirmed that the company is preparing a China-specific version of the Model S as well as another version of the car for the rest of Asia.

Thanks to: Autocar