Elon Musk: A Cheaper Tesla Is Still Years Down the Road

He's hoping it'll cost half the Tesla S asking price

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Lucy Nicholson / REUTERS

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk talks about Tesla's new battery swapping program in Hawthorne, California June 20, 2013.

Elon Musk wants to sell you a $35,000 Tesla — but he’s still three years away from making that a reality, the PayPal billionaire admitted Tuesday.

Tesla’s “mass-market, affordable car is about three years away. That’s the car we’ve always wanted to make,” Musk said in a CNN interview.

The electric Tesla Model S is proving to be a hit, selling 6,900 in the last quarter of 2013 (up 25% from the previous quarter). It was even named the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

But the futuristic four-door comes with a shocking price tag, starting at approximately $70,000. A $35,000 model would put a Tesla within striking range of a much broader market.

Tesla is also working on an electric SUV dubbed the Model X, but that will cost about the same as an entry-level Model S.