"It was never our goal to make expensive cars".
In a sense, yes. A discussion that one Redditor had earlier today with Tesla customer service also sheds light on possibly delivery dates.
It's already pretty popular, too.
The Model 3 is something of the culmination of Tesla founder Elon Musk's grand plan, which always envisaged high-price, low-volume models would help the company build momentum and resources before the launch of a mass-market vehicle - and that auto is the Model 3.
Elon Musk took to the stage at his company's Fremont factory to deliver the first 30 Model 3 sedans to the first 30 employee-customers Friday night, and with all the fanfare came more details about Tesla's third model.
"Welcome to production hell", he quipped at Friday's launch.
The vehicle's battery was created to keep it going for "at least 215 miles" (345 kilometers) before needing to be recharged, according to Tesla. A version with every available option, including longer range, partial self-driving capability, special paint (it costs $1,000 to get any color besides black) and sport wheels costs $59,500.
Call it what you will - a historical turning point, a massive inflection point in the EV industry, or something else pretty-sounding - it matters not. The number of people who buy cars in that price range is massive and that now makes EV in reach of many Aussie families. The cars feature a streamlined dashboard devoid of buttons or knobs, with a 15-inch touchstream display to the right of the driver. Within a month, 373,000 customers had put down a $1,000 refundable deposit. The plan is for the Model S and X to eventually do the same.
A touchscreen dominates the console of the Tesla Model 3.
In recent years, Tesla has become the de facto brand for EVs, and perhaps it's partly because it makes damn good vehicles. "We're building. cars as fast as we can".
The majority of the vehicle's first buyers are Tesla employees. This estimator may not be completely accurate, but it's the best we can get so far. The compact Model 3 may not entice a global market that's increasingly shifting to SUVs, including all-electric SUVs from Audi and others that are going on sale soon. "You won't need to look at an instrument panel all that often, you'll be able to do what you want".
A red Tesla Model 3 driven by Musk rolls up a ramp, video from the scene showed.
"We are going to be in production hell". It is thought that the waiting list is more than half a million and Musk says that people who order now will not likely get the vehicle until late in 2018.
Cars powered by green energy are consistent with a concern for the environment seen in Musk's other enterprises. "Tesla is very much in that sweet spot in having an emotional response [from customers] and meeting practical needs", said Rebecca Lindland, an automotive analyst for Kelley Blue Book.
Limits on the $7,500 USA tax credit for electric cars could also hurt demand.