Tesla’s Long Awaited Model 3
by David Nguyen
After years of waiting, Tesla has revealed the Model 3, the vehicle that CEO Elon Musk hopes will take the electric car to the masses. Tesla has been at the forefront of redefining how electric vehicles are perceived, but up until now its cars have been priced far beyond what most people can afford (starting at around $70,000). On March 31st, Musk unveiled the Model 3 in front of a crowd of 800 people in Hawthorne, California, and an enormous audience online via livestream.
Like the Model S, the Model 3 will come in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, including a 15-inch landscape touchscreen inside, an interesting change from the 17-inch portrait touchscreen in the Model S and X. The car features a slick glass ceiling, ostensibly for increased head space. Without a gas engine, the Model 3 has the expected rear-end trunk and additional storage space up front. Add the promised five-star safety rating and standard “autopilot” self-driving feature and the Model 3 is something to get excited about. The company claims the base car will do 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and deliver at least 215 miles of range beginning at just $35,000, specifications competing with luxury automakers BMW and Audi. Customers must put down $1,000 to reserve one of the cars, which won’t go on sale until late 2017. However, many question if the $35,000 price too good to be true, especially for a car like the Model 3. Tesla has confirmed that the $35,000 price tag on the Model 3 doesn't include the significant federal and state incentives available to electric car buyers.
The preorder numbers so far work out to almost $10 billion worth of sales, assuming all those people buy one. With extra features, the average cost of a Model 3 could be $42,000, the company estimates. According to CNBC, Tesla received over 232,000 paid reservations directly from retail buyers, within 24 hours of launching its first lower-price electric car. Though the Model 3 competes with many high performances sedans such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi A4, its aesthetic design and eco-friendly performance can change the future of cars.