The chances of Tesla unveiling a $25,000 electric vehicle this year are pretty slim, given the company’s recent updates. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be a plausibility in the future. It might just take longer than initially expected. Tesla’s planned EV won’t just be its cheapest model. It’s also rumored to be the first one to be fully autonomous, coming without any steering wheel whatsoever.

The title of the cheapest Tesla currently belongs to the Model 3, but during its Battery Day event back in 2020, Musk teased an even lower-cost model starting at just $25,000. The Tesla CEO even hinted at quite an expeditious three-year time frame for its completion. Of course, many changes have happened since then, pushing back the release window of its supposedly cheapest EV from ‘soon to come’ into ‘indefinite’ territory, but if there’s one thing for sure, the $25,000 Tesla won’t be called the Model 2.

Related: Model Y Vs. Model S: Which Tesla Travels Farther On A Single Charge?

For those wondering where the $25,000 Tesla model currently sits, well, it’s safe to say it isn’t among Tesla’s top priorities, at least for the moment. According to a previous report from electrek, Tesla’s R&D facility in China reportedly made a prototype of the rumored model, with production plans by the end of 2021. However, that didn’t happen as the Tesla CEO later considered moving its production to some time in 2023 instead. But, of course, it didn’t take long before those sentiments were shot down during Tesla’s Q4 earnings Q&A back in January, where Musk revealed Tesla isn’t currently working on a $25,000 car, adding that the company has “too much on our plate.”

Will There Ever Be A $25K Tesla In The Future?

Tesla Model 2 Render Based On Model 3 Interior No Steering Autonomous

What’s curious is that Musk never abandoned the notion of a $25,000 model outright, even stating that Tesla will eventually get to it “at some point.” Musk believes that lowering the cost of such a vehicle will be a matter of when it can finally make the model fully autonomous. The problem is the price of Teslas has only been rising higher lately due to inflation. With the cost of its cheapest Model 3 now moving closer to $50,000 than its originally intended $35,000, the notion of a $25,000 is beginning to sound a lot bleaker.

In addition, it gets even murkier when factoring in the recent surge in Tesla demand caused by spiking gas prices. This could only lead to further delays in the production of its current lineup alone, inevitably pushing back the idea of developing a cheaper ‘Model 2’ like vehicle. If there’s any hope for its arrival, it might have to come from Tesla China president Tom Zhu’s aspirations of developing a locally-produced original model for the worldwide market. In that case, it would only make sense for such a model to be affordable to be able to be competitive in the Asian market as it is internationally, making a Tesla at a $25,000 price point a likely scenario in the future, should Zhu be able to accomplish what he envisioned, of course. While consumers shouldn’t expect any of this to happen any time soon, at least other companies are already beating Tesla to it.