The new more “affordable” Tesla has been announced and has already been shipped to 30 new lucky customers. According to Elon Musk himself, only 50 have been actually manufactured out of the Giga factory in Fremont, CA and hence the first 30 or so people are quite fortunate. By July 28, Tesla had released that they had about 405,000 pre-orders for the new unofficial car and hence the vehicle is completely booked for a whole another year, meaning if you want to buy a Model 3 right now, well good luck because you will be getting one possible late NEXT YEAR (2018) or worst case scenario, early 2019! The problem Tesla is currently facing is not enough supply for the insane amount of demand, they will be having an “exponential” amount of Model 3 production over the next dozen months, according to Elon Musk though.
The Tesla Model 3:
As for the car itself, from the rear at least, the design is very familiar to the Model S and X. Elon stated on stage that they took a lot of time perfecting the design engineering the car as safe as possible. As a result the vehicle chassis is very unique and quite a bit different from the other Model’s. He says that this uniqueness is one of the reasons for some of the Model 3 production delays.
One unique design is the rear window, which is very tall and long, like the windscreen of the Model X. Along with the white interior, the rear cabin gets a very airy and roomy feel, more than it actually is.
As for specifications:
PRICE: $35,000- $44,000 (STANDARD-LONG RANGE)
0-60mph: 5.6- 5.0 sec. (STANDARD-LONG RANGE)
RANGE: 220- 310 Miles (STANDARD-LONG RANGE)
POWER: 51kw/h – 70kw/h (not official, only estimates) (STANDARD-LONG RANGE)
The PRESS EVENT (July 28th, 2017):
If we move to the actual announcement event at Tesla’s factory, you will realize that there was a lot of facts presented and a lot of awkward laughs. The CEO begins off talking about how the event is taking place at their largest factory in California, and the fact that it is the 2nd largest factory by footprint in the world. Elon Musk talks about how much design and engineering R and D took place to build the Model 3….which of course it probably did.
Another very interesting point made by Elon was that all Tesla’s, including the Model 3, have complete autonomous hardware in them and hence have the capability to independently drive themselves. Though as of now the Model 3’s hardware is still going through testing and the software required for autonomy is not yet released, but it should be out sometime late this year as more Model 3’s roll out. The company has so much trust in their system that the design team actually completely removed an instrument panel from the dashboard, instead all the gauges, controls and infotainment is on a 15-inch LCD panel right in the middle of the car:
And then later in the event, you get to the very controversial but understandable Volvo S60 side-crash safety comparison, as shown above. Here Elon talks about how the Volvo S60 was rated 5 stars in all categories by the IIHS and that particularly in this side-crash test, the Model 3 clearly smokes the car. Now I have 2 problems with this:
- You still have to realize that the Volvo S60 is a 9-yr old design and of course it is outshined by the new 2017 EV. Hence if you’re a car guy, you will be screaming saying that it is an unfair comparison. Unfortunately though we cannot be mad at Tesla because they did not do anything wrong, they had competition and well I guess that competition wasn’t so up to date..
- Another less noticeable complaint is the fact that the S60 was tested over 2-3 years ago for the IIHS and it seems that the crash barricade for the S60 is larger than the Model 3’s. The safety test changes its criteria over time and this is a clear example of that.
But, on Tesla’s side, this is again, pretty understandable from a marketing stand point. Volvo perhaps will get a bit of a kickstart to finally update the 9 year old design of the S60.
As the event nears the handover time, Elon makes a pretty good and stress-relieving announcement: The fact that they hope to have about 18,000 Tesla superchargers all around the WORLD. Which will be an amazing improvement over the current 6,100 or so superchargers on the roads right now. At the end of the event, Elon tells us that only 50 total production Model 3’s have been produced and that 30 of them will given away live at the factory. He hopes to be producing 10,000 Model 3’s per week in the future, from all the income form Model’s X and S.
According to Tesla, the Model 3 will be given AWD and a full autonomy software sometime next year, which should just be icing on the cake.
Overall I think the Model 3 looks like an amazing car with a very bright future. The company has worked very hard in providing great features and innovation at a more wallet-friendly price. If the electric car industry goes on like this and more infrastructure is provided, gas powered vehicles might be at the end of the horizon! More thoughts and experiences will be released after more of these cars are seen on the road, since as of now not a lot of light can be shed on how it drives, comfort, charge time, etc.
THE FUTURE IS NOW!
Information details: http://www.caranddriver.com/tesla/model-3 AND https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzT0uNT0ds8
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