You Can Order Tesla’s $35k Model 3 In Six Month’s Time, But There’s A Catch

We already kinda knew the Model 3 would be revealed in March 2016, but now we know customers can order it then, too. That is if they don't mind the two year wait, as the cars can't be built until Tesla's Gigafactory is in full swing
You Can Order Tesla’s $35k Model 3 In Six Month’s Time, But There’s A Catch

Elon Musk’s long term goal with Tesla is to bring high range electric vehicles to the masses, and the beginning of realising that goal is the affordable Model 3. So far we’ve had the Roadster (a sports car to prove EVs can be cool), the Model S (to prove EVs can be luxurious and make money), and imminently the Model X (to prove you can actually use an EV as a family car).

The Model 3 will be revealed to the world in March 2016, and Musk has just announced that pre-orders for the car will begin as soon as we’ve seen it. The only catch is that production of the Model 3 won’t begin for another two years, as it requires the massive Gigafactory in Nevada to be finished and working at capacity to meet expected demand.

The Gigafactory is where Tesla will build its battery cells and packs. The huge, dedicated factory in the desert is a necessity, because Musk believes the only way to really challenge the established manufacturers is to be able to produce cars en masse. The other bonus is that the factory will help reduce the ‘per kilowatt hour’ cost of producing battery packs and cells by 30 per cent, which will help drive down the price of the car.

The Model 3 will be a saloon, rivalling the likes of the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class. It’s unlikely that it’ll run the larger 90kWh batteries found in the Model S, so don’t expect the ‘Ludicrous’ sub-three second 0-62mph time. Still, you can expect M4/C63-rivalling performance with the running costs of a laptop and a range well in excess of the current 200 miles - a tantalising prospect at an expected starting price of $35,000.

You Can Order Tesla’s $35k Model 3 In Six Month’s Time, But There’s A Catch

Once the Gigafactory is in full swing, Tesla hopes to be producing about 500,000 cars a year. Whether they can actually achieve that by 2020 as promised remains to be seen, given the extensive delays that have plagued the Model X’s launch. Even if the timeline is becoming a bit stretched, it looks like Musk’s dream of providing an EV anyone can drive is still on track. It’ll be fascinating to watch this one play out.


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