Flash Drive: Tesla Model 3 Long Range

Flash Drive: Tesla Model 3 Long Range

Our First Time Behind the Wheel of the Hot Little Tesla

The Model 3 brings the Tesla magic to a smaller, more affordable package. However, the car isn’t in press fleets, so it’s been hard to get any time with one. Luckily, a friend of mine shared hers with me on a sunny Saturday morning.

Tesla Model 3

The friend connection gave us a chance to experience one of the hottest new cars

The car looks a lot like its big brother, the Model S. The designers managed to capture the same flowing shape in a foot-shorter package. The grill-less nose resembles a Porsche, while the taillamps are generic-looking, lacking the chrome garnish of the S. My white Tesla Model 3 Long Range wore satin finish chrome trim and the optional 19-inch wheels.

Not a hatchback, the Model 3 has a rear trunk, but it looks roomy. The “frunk” in the nose would easily accommodate some modestly proportioned soft luggage. What you won’t see at either end is a motor or other technical component—as it rarely needs service, it’s tucked away.

The Inside Story

Stepping inside before our test drive, I was impressed by the overall quality of the car. Tesla doesn’t use animal-based leathers, so the seats and steering wheel feel good, but there is no new-car aroma. The Model 3 seats are comfortable and supportive, and felt that way from the moment I sat down in the driver’s chair.

You can adjust the seats (manual standard, electric with the Premium package), and as with pretty much everything else, the central screen becomes a storage repository for those settings. The screen is so critical that even the glovebox opens only with a virtual button on the screen.

The steering wheel contains two little balls at the thumb positions. These have multiple uses, depending on which item you’re attempting to control. You can adjust the outside mirrors and steering wheel this way, for example, as well as the typical audio volume and station selection.

The Sky Above

Covering the entire rear half of the car is a stunning glass roof. The glass over the driver and front passenger is only part of the premium package. None of the glass opens, but it certainly lets the world in.

Tesla Model 3

The front seats are supportive–and the back ones seemed low

The gleaming piano black center console pops open to reveal a rubber surface that will hold two cell phones. Press them onto the charger and they connect to the car. Below this panel is a deeper storage bin. My friend says the surfaces are magnets for fingerprints.

In the rear, the seat is surprising low, with a short cushion. Despite providing sufficient legroom, is not very supportive for long distance travel. That’s likely the price you pay for the car’s low, sleek profile. It’s a sedan, not a crossover or hatchback, much lower than, for example, the Chevrolet Bolt.

A Minimalist Dash

The dash is stunningly plain, with a wood veneer strip and slim vents behind the big center panel. The vents themselves are adjustable from the center screen, and you can use your fingers to configure where the air is going, which is kind of fun. You only see the slot, so the air is distributed more subtly.

Tesla Model 3

Only one big distraction here

I found that the screen’s center-mounted position means you’re less likely to consult it underway—or pay attention to speed, for example. But at 15 inches, it is big enough to show you a lot at a glance, and the UX design is state of the art.

The steering column stalks have basic functions only, with the center panel serving up most controls. The left stalk controls windshield wipers and washers, but you can configure more on the screen. Windshield cleaning is completely automatic by default. The right stalk controls the automatic transmission settings. If Autopilot is engaged, pressing D (Drive) twice initiates it. However, this car did not have Autopilot enabled, as the owner didn’t add $5,000 to get it included, and there apparently are some software updates to come to make it fully operational.

More Central Control

Audio controls, like everything else, are accessible from the center panel. The current selection appears on the lower strip of the right side, under the navigation system map. Swipe up to enlarge the panel, and you can choose from a wide variety of digital channels, as well as FM and the contents of your phone. Many blends and specialized stations appeared, although I didn’t spend time experimenting with them. The sound was excellent, although I don’t know the brand or the size/quality of the speakers, which were tucked away unobtrusively.

Tesla Model 3

One screen to rule them all

The doors open electrically with a small button at the top of the grip—it would be easy to miss it. The window drops slightly first, and then you can push the door open and step out. The door panels are quite plain compared to the Model S. This is an area where mass production necessitates simple, straightforward components.

Out on the Road

I placed the gear selector into D and pressed lightly on the accelerator and off we went. Driving someone’s personal car meant I was especially careful. We drove down the street and made a right onto a residential road. I tried pressing harder on the pedal, and the car moved out vigorously. While the Model 3 doesn’t feature a “ludicrous mode” like the S and X, it is good for 5.1 to 5.6-second zero-to-60 times. The steering is taut, and you can change direction with barely a touch. The suspension is firm, so the car feels planted. A big battery below the floor keeps the center of gravity low on electric cars like these.

We jumped on the freeway, where the car took off, as you’d expect. With its optional 310-mile range, the Model 3 should be a willing long-distance traveler, although the superchargers are not free for it, as they are for the Model S and X. The standard Model 3, out later this year, will feature a 220-mile range battery, which is still good for most local travel and competes closely with the Chevrolet Bolt.

Big Brother

The Model 3’s efficiency is beyond reproach. The EPA gives it ratings of 136 MPGe city/123 highway/130 combined. The Greenhouse Gas and Smog numbers are perfect 10s, as expected. You can’t really do better than that today.

Tesla Model 3

Big and little Tesla side-by-side

My friend also has a Model S, so I could compare the cars side by side; I even drove the Model S briefly after my Model 3 test drive. Both cars have the quick acceleration you’d expect from an all-electric vehicle, although the S is more dramatic, about a second faster zero-to-60. The swirling shapes featured in the Model S’s interior are not part of the Model 3’s more straightforward, linear inside. The Model 3’s relegation of all displays and controls to one centrally mounted panel is completely different, too, as the Model S supplements its huge vertical center screen with a traditional instrument panel display.

Dimensionally, the Model 3 measures nearly a foot shorter nose to tail than the Model S, on a wheelbase that’s just 3.3 inches shorter. It’s four inches narrower, too. Tesla weights vary depending on battery size and features, but this 3 is more than half a ton lighter. The Model S has 30 cubic feet of storage versus the Model 3’s 15, and the S’s hatchback is more practical.

The real difference is in the feel. The Model S proudly wears the mantle of a luxury sedan while the Model 3, not as much. The screen-oriented user experience creates a “car of the future” ambiance, but the layout and presentation are not as impressive. The plainness is reminiscent of a new Volvo, with less bling.

The Price & Visible Flaws

However, that’s easily attributable to price. A new Model S 75D starts at $74,500, while the Model 3 starts at just $35,000. However, you can’t order the base car now, because all of the first batch of Model 3s have the long-range battery (310 miles vs. 220) and Premium Upgrade. You can also opt for special paint (anything but black costs extra) and the gorgeous 19-in wheels. In fact, I saw another friend’s configuration screen for his Model 3, and for now, it’s basically a choice of color and wheels.

Tesla Model 3

Model 3 fit-and-finish looks like a work in progress

My Tesla Model 3 Long Range test vehicle came to $52,500. With enhanced autopilot, it would be an additional $5,000.

The Model 3, however impressive, is not without flaws. If you look closely, there are some slight fit and finish alignment issues inside and out that are not expected in a car with a price above $50,000. While these are not deal breakers, they show that as the company takes on the Herculean task of building a car in larger volumes, some items are simply not getting done as perfectly as they are on a brand-new Kia.

Tesla Model 3

Style–and substance–and work to do

While I only spent an hour and a half with the car, part of that time behind the wheel, I was impressed at how smooth and strong it felt, its quietness, and how enjoyable it was to drive. The styling is quite nice on the outside, while the interior proved comfortable, if subdued. With a hatchback and the smaller battery for $35,000, the Model 3 would be an impressive direct challenger to the Chevrolet Bolt, new Nissan Leaf and other EVs to come.

One thing to think about, though. My friend told me that research had shown that for many Model S buyers, their Tesla purchase was a stretch—much higher than they had ever spent before on a car. I think some Model 3 waiting list dwellers will take the plunge and go for the car, warts and all, even if it’s a bit out of their comfort zone. There’s emotion in the Model 3.

Related Stories You Might Enjoy: More Model 3 News & the Chevy Bolt Competition

News: First Tesla Model 3 Deliveries

News: Tesla Model 3 Production Starts

Road Test: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Personal: One Year with the Chevrolet Bolt

Because we know you’re curious, Steve’s photo collection from test drive is below:

Flash Drive: Clean Fleet Report “Flash Drives” are concise reviews of vehicles that include the major points and are easy and quick to read. A “Flash Drive” is often followed later by a comprehensive test drive review.

News: 12 Greenest Cars Of 2018 Revealed

News: 12 Greenest Cars Of 2018 Revealed

ACEEE Says You Can’t Go Wrong With This Mix Of Green Cars

Choosing a car that meets your household’s needs is one thing, but if you are environmentally conscious your selection might go beyond comfort, cargo room and available options. If you want to reduce your environmental impact, minimize fuel costs or cut the petroleum pipelines from foreign countries, then buy the greenest vehicle that still meets your transportation needs.

To help shoppers choose a greener car, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) in Washington, D.C. compiles an annual survey of what it determines is the most environmentally friendly cars on American roads. Not surprisingly, battery-powered electric and gasoline-electric hybrids are the sole winners for 2018, the 21st year for the list.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Vehicle Guide only looks at traditional tailpipe pollutants, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced per mile and fuel economy. The ACEEE uses a complex formula that considers the emissions associated with a vehicle’s entire life cycle–from manufacturing to disposal impact–and the fuel it uses, whether gasoline, diesel or electricity.

The Council also analyzes automakers’ test results for fuel economy and emissions as reported to the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), along with other reported specifications. In addition, the group looks at lifecycle impacts of the car, taking into consideration criteria pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions, looking at upstream emissions of the vehicle’s fuel and also manufacturing and disposal impacts. Four basic data points form the core of the ratings—tailpipe emissions, fuel economy, vehicle curb weight and battery mass and composition (for the hybrid and plug-in vehicles). Finally, they factor in an environmental damage index that tallies the gram-per-mile pollutant rate multiplied by a cents-per-gram of damage costs.

If you’re ready to go shopping for an Earth-friendly new car, here’s the list of the 12 Greenest Cars Of 2018. We are noting their green scores and fuel economy, including the “MPGe” equivalent for EVs. (Beyond the list of 12 environmental winners, the ACEEE also provides car shoppers with lists of more environmentally friendly choices in all car classes at: https://aceee.org/. To add some more data to the mix, we’ve also included links to our road tests and news stories about these models.

Base prices are before any federal, state or local incentives.

  1. Hyundai Ioniq Electric

2017 Ioniq Electric Vehicle

2017 Ioniq Electric Vehicle

 

Leading the pack for the second year in a row is the midsized Hyundai Ioniq Electric. It compiled a “Green Score” of 70 out of a 100, which is the highest rating for a passenger car ever recorded by the ACEEE. The all-electric version of the Ioniq hatchback leads all comers with a class-leading fuel economy equivalent. Base Price: $29,500. EV Range: 124 miles: MPGe: 150 city/122 highway.

  1. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive

Slotting into the number two ranking with a Green Score of 69 is the two-seat Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. Not only is this the cheapest car built by Mercedes-Benz, it is among the greenest rides on the road. However, it is hampered by a limited driving range, a seating capacity of two and a small cargo capacity, but it offers something no other electric car does: the option to drop the top. Base Price: $23,800. EV Range: 58 miles; MPGe: 124 city/94 highway.

  1. BMW i3 BEV

BMW i3

BMW i3

A Green Score of 68 was high enough to earn the BMW i3 BEV third on the list in ACEEE’s 12 Greenest Cars Of 2018. This rating is for the odd-shaped i3’s newly available 94 amp-hour battery pack. The i3 is also offered with a small range-extender gasoline engine with fewer EV miles (97), but can travel an additional 83 miles on gasoline. Base Price: $47,650. EV Range:114 miles; MPGe: 129 city/106 highway.

4. Tesla Model 3 Long Range

 

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

 

While a Green Score of 67 places the Tesla Model 3 Long Range in fourth place, the wait time for this new car could take up to a year or longer, due to production delays and pre-production demand. This is for the $9,000 optional long range battery Model 3. Base Price: $44,000. EV Range: 310 miles; MPGe:136 city/123 highway.

  1. Chevrolet Bolt

 

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet Bolt EV

One of America’s favorite EVs, the Chevrolet Bolt’s 66 Green Score places it in the number five position. The hatchback compact car offers the latest tech and safety features along with a spacious interior, and an operating range that is sufficient for a typical week’s commute. Base Price: $36,620. EV Range: 238 miles; MPGe 128 city/110 highway.

  1. Kia Soul EV

The Hampster lovin’ Kia Soul EV tallied a 66 Green Score to tie the Chevy Bolt. The boxy Soul EV is roomy and comfortable with a nicely appointed interior. However, it is only available in California and nine other states. Base Price: $32,250. EV Range: 111 miles; MPGe: 124 city/93 highway.

Kia Soul

Kia Soul

  1. Hyundai Ioniq Blue Hybrid

2017 IONIQ Plug-In Hybrid

Hyundai Ioniq Blue Hybrid

With a Green Score of 65, the Hyundai Ioniq Blue is the top hybrid on this year’s ACEEE’s list of greenest cars. With handsome styling inside and out, the compact Ioniq hybrid tops all hybrids with its impressive fuel economy. It’s also available in plug-in hybrid and electric models. Base Price: $22,200. MPG: 57 city/59 highway.

  1. Toyota Prius Eco

 

Toyota Prius Two Eco

Toyota Prius Two Eco

The Toyota Prius Eco slipped into second place among conventional hybrids on this year’s ACEEE’s list with a Green Score of 64.  Still America’s best-selling hybrid, the Prius Eco Two trim offers the top fuel economy in the Prius lineup. Base Price: $25,165. MPG: 58 city/53 highway. 

  1. Ford Focus Electric

 

2017 Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric

A Green Score of 64 lands the Ford Focus Electric in the number eight spot. This compact electric hatchback is affordable, thanks to the one-time $7,500 frederal tax credit and the large cash rebates from Ford. Base Price: $29,120. EV Range: 115 miles; MPGe: 118 city/96 highway.

  1. Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid

 

Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid

Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid

Kia’s Niro Plug-in Hybrid tops the plug-in hybrid class with a Green Score of 63. Also available as a standard hybrid (52 city/49 highway mpg), the plug-in version gains battery-only range, but is less efficient in hybrid mode. Base Price: $27,900. EV Range: 26 miles; MPGe: 105; MPG gas: 46 combined.

  1. Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

 

Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

Honda made this year’s ACEEE list with the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid that had a Green Score of 62.  The plug-in-hybrid version joins EV and fuel-cell Clarity variants, and it’s the only version of this premium sedan that can be purchased outright. Base Price: $33,400.  EV Range 48 miles; MPGe 110; MPG gas: 42 combined.

  1. Chevrolet Volt

2018 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt

 

Chevrolet’s Volt is among the dozen “greenest” cars for 2018 with a Green Score of 62. The Volt is equipped with a small range-extending gasoline engine that provides a virtually unlimited operting range, as long as you can find a sas station. But the first 53 miles comes solely on electricity. Base Price: $33,320. MPGe: 106; Gas: 42 highway.

The tally of the Top 12—seven electrics, three plug-in hybrids and two hybrids. Four from Hyundai-Kia, two from General Motors and one each from BMW, Daimler, Ford, Honda, Tesla and Toyota.

Top 10 Best Value Electric Cars To Buy Now

Top 10 Best Value Electric Cars To Buy Now

Choice & Deals Are Out There

With more electric cars entering the market, there is greater choice available for the consumer. As technology develops, and newer, better options become available, there is now real value to be had in owning an electric car.

This list considers the Top 10 Best Value battery electric cars that are on the market right now–based on the publicly announced lease prices, along with the range you get at the price. All the lease prices listed here are for 36-months, and based on the manufacturer’s price. They do not include down payments, and these costs may vary between different dealerships and locations. Deals can be had, as anyone who’s shopped EVs knows.

The range listed for each car is also based on the EPA guidelines, though these will vary in the real world depending on speed, weather and terrain (amongst other factors). While these figures are only guidelines, therefore, they offer a good indication of what you’re getting for your money.

We’ve added links to some of Clean Fleet Report’s test drives and news of the listed models.

  1. 2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Lease price: $329/month, range: 238 miles

Chevrolet Bolt

Bolts top our list

Boasting the best range on this list, the Chevy Bolt is the first “affordable” car to compete with Tesla’s range. While it is more expensive than the other cars on this list, its enormous range makes the Bolt a potential game-changer for the electric car market. We like it a lot; one Clean Fleet Report writer even leased one.

  1. 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Lease price: $275/month, range: 124 miles

Available in various configurations, including traditional and plug-in hybrids, as well as electric, the Ioniq is extremely flexible. Despite its lease price and range, the Ioniq seems to have gone under the radar compared to others on this list, but is a steal at $275/month.

  1. 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf

Lease price: $279/month, range: 125 miles

Featuring a big range boost from the previous model, the 2017 e-Golf now has a 125-mile range compared to 83 before, and at $279/month is a bargain for a car with this range.

  1. 2017 Ford Focus Electric

Lease price: $204/month, range: 115 miles

With an increased range and lower price, the 2017 Focus Electric is a big upgrade on the previous model, and is a good value, sporty car.

Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e

  1. 2017 Fiat 500e

Lease price: $89/month, range: 84 miles

First in the style-stakes, the Fiat 500e is pretty much a design classic – combining retro charm with bright and quirky colours. While other cars on this list offer a superior range, none can compete with the 500e in the price-stakes.

  1. 2017 Nissan Leaf

Lease price: $199/month range: 107 miles

2017 Nissan Leaf

2017 Nissan Leaf

The best selling electric car of all time, the Leaf is still the standard-bearer and is a roomy compact with a good range. With the Focus Electric outperforming it at a similar price, however, there is better value to be had in an increasingly busy market. Leaf deals may increase before the longer-range, restyled 2018 model hits dealers.

  1. 2017 Kia Soul EV

Lease price: $159/month, range: 93 miles

The Soul EV is a spacious car, with room for five passengers and plenty of cargo space. Boasting one of the lowest lease prices in the market and a decent range, this is a real bargain.

  1. 2017 BMW i3

BMW i3

BMW i3

Lease price $289/month, range: 81 miles

The popular i3 is a good looking and luxurious electric car, with a competitive price for a prestige brand. WIth the 2017 range extender, the i3’s performance is boosted even further to 125 miles, for $329/month, a good price for a quality vehicle.

  1. Honda Clarity EV

Lease price: $269/month, range: 89 miles

Performing well since its release in August, the Clarity EV is a big, spacious sedan. While there are better value cars on this list in terms of range and lease price, this is still a quality vehicle.

  1. Tesla Model 3

Lease price: not released, range: 215 miles

While Tesla are having some issues with production, the Model 3 represents the manufacturer’s first foray into the affordable market. With a range matched only by the Bolt, the Model 3 is a luxurious sedan at a great price (the base MSRP is $35,000). Expect this car to shoot up the list once Tesla releases leasing details.

News: Second Generation Nissan Leaf Introduced

News: Second Generation Nissan Leaf Introduced

More Dynamic Design, More Range & Tech, Cheaper Price

The 2018 Nissan Leaf was unveiled to the world today and it marks a strong competitive move in a market full of new rivals. Context is everything. Leaf 2.0 launches in a world with two key competitors that have shaped Nissan’s flagship eco-car. The Chevrolet Bolt has been on the market since December. While not tearing it up in sales, it has sold steadily (and outsold the Leaf) this year and this month is available across the U.S. Last month the first of Tesla’s Model 3 rolled off the line, posing another mid-market challenge (and that model has almost a half-million reservations).

2018 Nissan Leaf

Nissan’s new Leaf takes a sport sedan stance

Those two models frame the new Leaf’s announcement. The Bolt’s appeal is an affordable mid-$30,000 price tag with an abundance of advanced technology. The Model 3 has more cache and more of a luxury and performance appeal. Both boast 200+ mile ranges in entry-level models.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf undercuts the price of both the Bolt and Model 3, sacrificing the extended range of both of those models, but strives for an image aligned on one hand with performance and the other with technology. Looking more like a performance sedan than the upright, pragmatic design of the original Leaf, the 2018 model will start at $29,990, below the price of the 2017 Leaf.

Although the Leaf model introduced in Japan touted a 400 kilometer (250-mile range), the U.S. model only claims 150 miles. That’s still twice the range of the 2010 Leaf. The new model will have Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous technology, which will allow for hands-free freeway driving. Also added is ProPilot Park, a parking-assist app and an e-Pedal, which allows for one pedal driving (you don’t have to use the brake as lifting on the accelerator dramatically slows the vehicle. While not unique to the Leaf, having all these features on a sub-$30,000 EV is a great move forward.

The 2018 Leaf goes on sale in early 2018 calendar year in all 50 states. It will carry an enhanced powertrain compared to the previous model, improving energy efficiency and delivering more torque and power. The announced numbers for the new car are 147 horsepower (110 kW, up 38 percent from the previous generation) and 236 pounds-feet of torque (up 26 percent).

The Heart of the New EV

The heart of the car is its new battery 40 kWh design. While delivering extended range, the laminated lithium-ion cells’ packaging remains the same as the first generation battery, but has a 67 percent increase in energy density.

2018 Nissan leaf

The rear hatch offers function and styling

Nissan is also teasing a “high-performance” version of the Leaf for next year.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf’s exterior design takes it out of the realm of the quirky and makes it closer to a mainstream sedan. The front end adopts the corporate Nissan look while overall the shape is closer to a sport sedan. The new model now has a Cd (coefficient of drag) of .028.  It retains the functional hatchback and appears to have similar interior dimensions to its predecessor, though with an interior with more luxury aspirations.

When the Leaf become the first mainstream EV on the market in 2010, the automotive world was quite different. As the model moved through the years to become the best-selling plug-in car in the world (almost 300,000 sold), times have changed. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel to get a better feel for this second generation EV.

Here are some stats to compare with those offered by Tesla for its Model 3.

Vehicle Dimensions

Wheelbase: 106.3 inches (compared to Model 3’s 113)

Overall Length: 176.4 (185)

Overall Width: 70.5 (73)

Overall Height: 61.4 (57)

Storage Space: 23.6 cubic feet (15)

News: First Tesla Model 3 Deliveries

News: First Tesla Model 3 Deliveries

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
  • Tesla Model 3

    Colors cost extra at Tesla

    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
  • Wi-Fi/LTE
  • 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:

Tesla Model 3

The early production Model 3s will be high-end versions

  • 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
Tesla Model 3

Engineering validation appears to be taking place alongside early deliveries

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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