Tesla Model 3 News
It’s been nearly a year since Tesla revealed the Tesla Model 3, its upcoming affordable small electric car. The company said it would begin Model 3 production by July and ramp up to producing 5,000 cars by the end of 2017. Eager shoppers on the Model 3 waiting list celebrated in late February when Tesla management said it was on track. “We're still in great shape,” said Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler, in an earnings call.
Elon Musk, Tesla's chief executive, announced at a shareholder meeting last week that Model 3 owners will be required to pay to access the company’s Supercharger network. For the Model 3 to succeed in the long run, Tesla needs to slice off as much starting cost from the car as possible without compromising the brand’s luxury credentials.
The response to the launch of the Tesla Model 3 earlier this month exceeded all expectations. Pre-orders are approaching 400,000 units. As a result, it’s likely that the vast majority of Model 3 buyers will not benefit from the $7,500 federal tax credit, which phases out after a manufacturer sells 200,000 electric cars.
The unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 last week was one of the most anticipated electric car events in many years. For about a decade, the affordable long-range Model 3 has been the lynchpin in Tesla’s plan to expand sales beyond the luxury car market.
In about a month, Tesla will show the world its pivotal Model 3 all-electric car. It’s the culmination of a decade of design and technology development—all focused on elevating Tesla from a maker of expensive niche luxury vehicles to a legitimate player in the mainstream auto industry.
The once feverish news cycle for stories about electric cars has mostly subsided. But that’s starting to change with an emerging high-profile race for the first relatively affordable EV with 200 miles of driving range. The competition will pit old-school General Motors (and its Chevy Bolt) against iconoclastic Tesla (and the Model 3).
Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, was not very precise this week when he talked about production timing for the Model 3, the company’s planned $35,000 200-mile electric car. "We are hoping to show the Model 3 in March of next year,” said Musk. He quickly added, “Don’t super-hold me to that month. That’s our aspiration.” Production dates for the Tesla Model X have repeated been delayed.