Earlier this year, Tesla (@TeslaMotors) unveiled its upcoming car - Model 3, the vehicle that CEO Elon Musk (@elonmusk) hopes will take the electric car to the masses. The unveiling happened at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California.
But Model 3 concept isn’t something that just struck Elon Musk and his team, in fact, is has been a part of Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors master plan since the company’s inception which was published by Tesla in 2006. The “Secret Master plan” consisted of three stage plans for the company. The first stage consisted of the creation of a high-end low-volume car that would show the world that electric cars can be compelling. This motive gave birth to The Tesla Roadster. The second step was to create a much affordable car that would show the practicality and usefulness of an electric car – The Model S. The creation of Model X SUV was considered a part of the same step. And then finally the third step aimed to create a comparatively much more affordable electric car for the mass-market which will now be available in the market by the end of 2017 as The Model 3.
According to the claims made by Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, the car will deliver a minimum range of 215 miles with advanced lithium ion batteries and all-electric powertrain. The car will do a standard 0-60 mph in 6 seconds however, Tesla hopes to offer other faster versions. Similar to the previous model - Model S, the Model 3 will be available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, along with a 15-inch landscape touchscreen inside. It will have a standard autopilot system hardware with all safety features that will be active automatically. The new model will look like a downsized version of model S, with a smaller end and the seating space will be comfortable enough to fit five adults.
The entire roof will be one continuous piece of glass and similar to Model S, Model 3 will also have two trunks – one in the rear and the other in the front thereby providing more cargo capacity than any of the conventional-car of the same dimensions. The Model 3 will consist of a simple interior with the cabin consisting of a large touchscreen placed horizontally and a steering wheel.
Starting at a base price of US$35,000, Model 3 is the most economical automobile to be manufactured by the company with the company CEO vouching for its uniqueness in terms of features as well as security amongst all other cars within the same range.
However, Model 3’s low price made it uneconomical to offer the same perks as Tesla’s other bigger models and thus will not have free unlimited access to Tesla’s Supercharger network but instead will be available for Model 3 users at an affordable charge through either a subscription service, or a one-off charge
But that doesn’t reduce the stakes of the new model. In fact, even before the car was released, Tesla had already taken 1,15,000 advance orders with a small down- payment of US$1000 and two days after the Model 3 reveal event, 2,76,000 orders had been taken which have now sky rocketed to 3,73,000 and an expected sale of over $10bn for Tesla. The company hopes to fulfil 2,00,000 of these orders by the end of 2017, ahead of the firm’s 2018 goal to take annual production to 500,000 vehicles.
The company is confident about the success of Model 3 that will be competing with the established big sellers in the compact executive car class. The production is expected to start in 2017 and will take place in Tesla’s existing plant in Fremont, California which is capable of building 5,00,000 cars per year and that is Elon Musk’s goal by 2018. The only issue with this goal is that in order to build a half-million electric cars per year, Tesla would have to absorb the entire world’s current lithium-ion battery production. Tesla’s new Gigafactory which is currently under construction and already producing parts in the Nevada desert is capable of producing 50 gigawatt-hours of batteries which is more than all the other factories in the world combined.