Official: Tesla unveils the Model 3

Tesla Model 3

In what should be known as the Model E, Tesla unveiled the Model 3 this evening. This is perhaps their most important launch, since this is the vehicle that is widely accepted to make Tesla, and to an extent all electric vehicles, more accessible to the masses.

Going back to the Model E, it was founder Elon Musk’s tongue-in-cheek strategy of having the Models S, E, and X in their lineup. Unfortunately, Ford threw the proverbial monkey wrench into their plans, so Tesla had to settle for calling their future bread-and-butter the Model 3.

Elon Musk was warmly welcomed to the reveal. He then delved into the purpose of the Model 3, and Tesla in general. He/Tesla wants to lower the CO2 emissions worldwide. He also went into the “Master Plan”, which started with a low-volume vehicle…hence why they chose to start with the Roadster. It was more of an electric vehicle showpiece that highlighted what they could be capable of. Musk stated that Bob Lutz credited the Roadster for kickstarting the current electric car trend with the automakers (Chevy and Nissan).

From there, he went into the Model S, which expanded their volume. At the time, it was the fastest production four-door vehicle in the world, and received accolades from the automotive press. It further highlighted what an electric vehicle could do, and to shatter the myth that electric vehicles are all show and no go.

He also spoke about the Model X, since more and more people prefer a crossover. Revenue from the S and the X paid for the development of the Model 3, which is the final part of the Master Plan.

Here’s the lowdown:

  • It achieved a five-star rating in all categories
  • 0-60 in less than six seconds*
  • Standard autopilot hardware and safety features
  • Fits five adults comfortably
  • Seats have been moved forward a bit for increased legroom
  • Has front and rear trunks (most cargo capacity in its class)
  • You can fit a seven-foot long surfboard inside
  • Supercharging comes standard
  • Roof is one continously pane of glass
  • It’s going to sticker for around $35K
  • Depending on where you live, after tax credits, it’ll set you back around $27K…although you might have to pay more than that initially.
  • It should have a range of over 215 miles*, which will put it head-to-head with the upcoming Chevy Bolt
  • Deliveries are scheduled to start at the end of next year

*minimum numbers, they hope to achieve greater numbers in their respective categories

Update: Elon Musk also announced that in the past 24 hours, Tesla has received over 130,000 pre-orders.

Photo Credit: Tesla Motors

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