2017 Tesla Model 3 – Electric Vehicle Game Changer

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Tesla revealed its 2017 Model 3 last night.  This changes everything.model 3 black side from tesla press kit

Let’s jump right into the Model 3 facts according to Elon Musk of Tesla Motors.  Here is a quick synopsis of what was said last night at the unveiling of the 2017 Tesla Model 3 sedan:

– Base model price is $35,000 before incentives.  Buyers in some states could pay as little as $23,500 after federal and local rebates and incentives.

– Range is 215 miles minimum.  Expect a longer range (more expensive) trim of up to 300 miles.

– 0-60 mph acceleration is under six seconds for the base model.  Expect a much faster trim at a higher price.

– Roomy five-passenger cabin with two trunks.  One in back and a “frunk” up front.

– Supercharger access is included on base model.  That had been in question before last night.

– Will be the safest sedan on the market its size.

The only real question left after the event last night is availability.  Although the Fremont, California plant once built up to 500,000 cars per year as a GM/Toyota joint venture, it is not outfitted that way now.  It currently stretches to produce 5,000 cars per month, both made from the same platform.

The Gigafactory is still under construction, though Musk says it is “up and running.”  That factory has the largest square footage of any building in the galaxy (we think that’s what he said) and will eventually bang out batteries by the metric ton.

Most automakers with a new car already have the plant and key supply chain components in place.  Tesla is doing all this at once.

model 3 tesla image - 2 cars from press kit

Assuming Musk’s estimates are the soonest the Model 3 will arrive, expect that some pricey “Founder’s Editions” will be shipping in late 2017.

Tesla has a long list of qualifications of who gets the first batches.  Prior Model S and Model X owners from California who place a deposit this week get priority.

Our best guess would be that the Model 3 will be for sale in the sense that we think of cars for sale no sooner than late 2018.  It will be interesting to see the Model 3’s impact on other affordable EVs between now and then.  It is hard to imagine who buys a Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, or other “affordable” battery electric vehicle as the Model 3’s on-sale date approaches.