Following on from the Model S and Model X, Tesla has begun deliveries of its Model 3, a more affordable version of its two big sisters.
Having attracted a record 500,000 deposits or more prior to its launch, it goes without saying that the Model 3 has been eagerly awaited. Attending a major handover party on 28 July, Tesla head Elon Musk delivered the first 50 cars – 30 to Tesla employees and 20 for testing.
Customers elsewhere will start receiving their keys in September and October, as reported by RTL, with European buyers having to wait one year more.
Meet the Tesla family
Tesla’s previous models – the Model S, Model X and the Tesla Roadster – are high end cars aimed at a well-heeled clientele and respectively retail at €74,000, €89,000 and over €100,000, not including options.
The Model 3 starts at €30,000 ($35,000), making it an affordable electric car able to compete with other entry-level models such as Chevrolet’s Chevy Bolt, which retails at $37,500.
The standard Model 3 has a range of 350km, manages 0-100kmh in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 210kmh. Advanced versions of the car offer a battery delivering twice the range and a dual all-electric motor.
The new car boasts the same features as its elders, such as a Bluetooth smartphone connection enabling the doors to be unlocked, though it also comes with a traditional key. It is also equipped with a range of cameras and sensors to enable autonomous driving. Though the sensors are fitted as standard, customers will have to pay extra for the self-driving feature.
The Model 3 and mass production
Tesla has come a long way since launching its first car, the all-electric Tesla Roadster, of which only 2,500 were built. In looking to meet a challenge rather than create a revenue stream, the company sought to demonstrate that an all-electric sports car could compete performance-wise against its conventional petrol-powered counterparts. The Model S, meanwhile, is a top-end electric car with a range of over 600km, and the Model X a top-of-the-range SUV.
The Model 3 is a continuation of Elon Musk’s strategy of breaking into the luxury car market, where customers are willing to pay top dollar for state-of-the-art technology, and then ploughing all the profits into research and production, which enables the company to lower the price of the next model and manufacture it in greater numbers.
A high-tech car boasting high-end technologies, the Model 3 is targeted at less affluent customers and will be mass produced. July saw 50 of the cars manufactured, with that number expected to rise to 1,500 in September, 20,000 in October and then 10,000 a week before the end of 2018.
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