Real Customer Deliveries Start in Late October
Say what you will, Elon Musk and his team at Tesla know how to manage excitement and entertainment. Friday night, July 29, at 9 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, Musk and a variety of Tesla folks spent 36 minutes hyping Tesla and, finally, showing off 30 new Tesla Model 3s being charged for their waiting new owners (all Tesla employees). During the show more details of the Model 3’s two trim levels were revealed along with future iterations. You can rewatch the whole thing here.
In spite of the promise of an affordable, $35,000 compact electric car, the initial Model 3s produced will all be the high-end model (dubbed the Long Range because of its larger battery). It has a starting price of $44,000 (options such as any color other than black—just like with the Model S and Model X—or a power driver’s seat or leather) and could reach almost $60,000 with all the option boxes checked.
Model 3 Specs
During what Tesla called the Handover Party the two flavors of the new Model S gained some details. The base $35,000 car is called the Standard. It will have:
- 220-mile range
- 0-60 in 5.6 seconds
- 130 mph top speed
- Single motor on rear wheels
- Charging capability of adding 30 miles of range an hour on 32-amp 240-volt chargers
- 130 miles of range at Tesla Superchargers in 30 minutes (charge for use)
- 15-inch touchscreen
- Dual-zone climate control
- Hybrid steel/aluminum body
Double wishbone, virtual steer axis front suspension with coil over twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
- Independent multi-link rear suspension with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
- Variable ratio, speed sensitive electronic power steering
- Electromechanically boosted four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution
- Eight airbags
- Standard 18-inch wheels
- All this in a package that is 185 inches long, 73 inches wide and 57 inches high.
- Wheelbase is 113 inches
- 15 cubic feet of trunk space
The $44,000 Long Range model adds this:
- 330-mile range
- 0-60 in 5.1 seconds
- Top speed of 140 mph
- Charging capability of adding 37 miles of range an hour on 40-amp 240-volt chargers
- 170 miles of range at Tesla Supercharger in 30 minutes (charge for use)
Option costs beyond the $9,000 for the upgraded battery pack are:
- Paint: $1,000 for any color other than black
- Wheels: $1,500 for 19-inch wheels
- Interior upgrades: $5,000 (premium materials, power seats in front, premium audio+more)
- Enhanced Autopilot: $5,000 (adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, automatically change lanes, transition from one freeway to another, exit the freeway and self-park at your destination)
- Full Self-Driving Capability: $3,000 (an add-on to Enhanced Autopilot due
More Details Coming Later
We expect more details, such as the battery pack size, will be released prior to the late October start of deliveries to customers outside Tesla. Musk said 50 initial models had been built with 20 going to engineers for validation. I guess that would mean the 20 delivered to supposed paying Tesla employees are not fully validated.
The timeline for the Model S, as laid out by Musk, is:
- Late October 2017, customer deliveries
- November 2017, start of Standard production
- Spring 2018, all-wheel drive production to begin
- Second half 2018, left-hand drive international deliveries to begin
- 2019, production of right-hand drive models to begin
At the “party” Musk said the company had more than a half million reservations in hand. He indicated that any new reservations could expect to have their Model 3 built and delivered in late 2018. He then added that the aggressive production ramp-up planned for this car (Musk has targeted a 5,000-unit/week goal for the end of the year) will lead to “at least six months, maybe longer” of “production hell.” He pledged to ramp up production “as fast as we can,” but noted that it is a complex machine with 10,000 unique parts sourced from all over the world (one-third from outside the U.S.). The other linchpin of the ramp-up is the parallel ramp-up of production at the company’s Gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada, that is to produce the batteries and electric drivetrains for the car. Anticipating the cars getting on the road, Musk also pledged that the company would be tripling the number of outlets in its Supercharger network by the end of 2018.
Musk also added a brief sales pitch for the current Tesla models—S and X—saying the could be custom ordered and delivered in one-to-two months (the company’s website said some could be delivered in seven days). Purchases of Models S and X “make the Model 3 possible,” he noted.
In the electric car world, the Model 3 era has begun, even though it won’t begin in earnest for several months. Clean Fleet Report will continue to report on the model’s progress (or lack thereof) as things progress. In the meantime, the Chevrolet Bolt EV (with models starting at $37,495 and a 238-mile range) will be available nationwide starting next month (August 2017). More models from other automakers are around the corner. The EV world may never be the same.
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