After much anticipation and speculation, Elon Musk formally unveiled the Tesla Model 3 to the world with the idea of accelerating the transition to sustainable transportation and making it affordable. With more than 115,000 pre-orders on the books and an MSRP of $35,000, Tesla’s latest all-electric sedan is undoubtedly in high demand.
The $35,000 price tag is on par with other EVs currently on the market, such as the Nissan Leaf, VW e-Golf, and BMW i3. So how does the Model 3 differentiate itself from the crop of electric vehicles being sold today? The answer is range, value, and safety.
According to Musk, the Model 3 will have an EPA-estimated range of 215 miles on a single charge. Supercharging capability is standard, along with Auto Pilot, passive and active safety features. During the design process, safety was high on the list of ‘must have’ and Tesla anticipates the Model 3 will earn an NHTSA 5-star safety rating across all categories.
Performance won’t be on the level of the Model S, but the Model 3 will leave a similarly priced EV or hybrid at the line. According to the upstart automaker, zero to 60 mph acceleration is less than six seconds and potentially faster if high-performance options, similar to its big brother, become available. All-wheel drive is also available if all-weather traction is desirable.
Inside will comfortably seat 5 passengers. The combined front and rear trunk space will have more capacity than a traditional sedan of the same dimensions. All-electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than traditional, gasoline-powered cars and electric motors are significantly smaller than an internal combustion engine. Thus, more space can be carved out for passengers and their stuff. Surfer dudes, or gals, will be able to fit their 7-foot longboard inside the Model 3.
Building upon the success of the Roadster, Model S, and Model X, Tesla now has the capacity to produce 500,000 cars a year and supply those cars with lithium-ion batteries from the Tesla-Panasonic battery gigafactory in Nevada.
The Model 3 is available for pre-order now with an accompanying $1,000 deposit. Delivery of the new EV sedan is expected to start at the end of 2017 with more details continuing to be released from now until production begins.