If electric vehicles are the future of transportation, our world took a major leap forward last week with the delivery of the first Tesla Model 3.
Since Tesla first started taking orders for the Model 3 back in March 2016, over 500,000 people reserved their spot in line for the first “affordable” all-electric car from Tesla. These enthusiastic folks were willing to pay $1000 for the reservation and to wait well over a year for their dream car to arrive, even though they had never set eyes on one.
The first 30 buyers of the Model 3 had their patience pay off when their cars were delivered on Friday last week. All of these initial buyers are Tesla employees who will be testing the cars and reporting back to the company the tweaks that may be needed.
The delivery took place with much fanfare at an event attended by the CEO, Elon Musk. This video shows the delivery event on Friday:
Musk promised that the production of the Model 3’s would increase so more customers would get delivery sooner rather than later. Musk foresees “six months of manufacturing hell” to get production ramped up from 72,000 cars delivered in 2016 to its goal of 600,000 cars in 2018.
Model 3 production ramp S-Curve pic.twitter.com/QpCiGKiVWG
— Tesla (@TeslaMotors) July 29, 2017
The Model 3 is the third model in Tesla’s lineup (hence the name “Model 3”), following in the footsteps of the Model S sedan and the Model X sport utility vehicle. Like the Model S, the Model 3 is a four-door sedan but is smaller and much less expensive.
The base price for the Model 3, before options, is $35,000, making it more affordable than the Model S at $68,000 and the Model X at $82,000.
Tax incentives may reduce the cost of the Model 3 even more. The US federal government offers a $7500 tax credit, with additional tax incentives offered by many states. The federal tax credits make the net base price of the car $27,500, before state incentives.
Check out available tax incentives at the Tax Incentive page of the Tesla website. Also note that the federal tax credits may be phased out => Tesla Model 3: new production plan’s effect on $7,500 federal tax credit.
What the Model 3 Has
So what are you getting for $35,000? An all-electric car that can go 0-60 mph (96.56 kmh) in just over 5 seconds, complete with automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance. The Model 3 has 15 cubic feet of storage (0.42 cubic meters) in its front and rear compartments.
The dashboard of the Model 3 is unique, having a single 15 inch (38 cm) screen in the middle.
There are no gauges or other screens behind the steering wheel. You can use voice control and touch screen instead of knobs and switches.
A look inside Model 3 pic.twitter.com/hIhAZn4Sdj
— Tesla (@TeslaMotors) July 29, 2017
One thing that you don’t get with the Model 3 is a key. You control the car from an app on your phone. (Hey, that’s one way to make sure you don’t leave your phone behind!)
Options on the Model 3 include a longer range battery (up to 310 miles/499 km), panoramic glass roof, self-driving options and exterior paint colors other than black.
The Model 3+ has a range of 310 miles (499 km) and sells for a base price of $44,000, making it the least expensive car per mile of range.
— Tom Randall (@tsrandall) July 29, 2017
Like other Tesla cars, the Model 3 has no reserve fuel tank. It runs solely on batteries and has a range of 220-310 miles (354-499 km), according to Tesla.
Tesla currently has about 6000 Supercharging stations and Tesla plans to triple that number to 18,000 by the end of next year. Unlike owners of the Model S and X, owners of the Model 3 will have to pay to use the superchargers. According to Tesla, Superchargers can provide 170 miles of range in 30 minutes of charging.
If you want to order now, your wait for a Model 3 will be 12-18 months, according to Tesla. Deliveries will begin to US customers in October 2017, with international deliveries beginning in the second half of 2018.
You can reserve one now for $1000 at the Tesla website. After they manufacture the next 499,970, yours can be built!
Have you heard about Tesla’s Model 3? Do you think electric cars are the future of transportation? Have you reserved a Model 3 yet?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.