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Tesla Model 3 - The Most Affordable Tesla Yet

Tesla Model 3 - The Most Affordable Tesla Yet

Tesla is seen as the world leaders in Electric Vehicle Technology, despite only bursting onto the scene in 2006.  Sales of the Tesla model S have managed to overtake those of the Nissan Leaf, making it the World’s best-selling pure electric vehicle.  With the premium market conquered, Tesla now plan to make electric vehicles more affordable with the introduction of the Tesla Model 3. 

All the way back in 2006 Elon Musk revealed his master plan in a Tesla blog.  This plan outlined the aim for Tesla; begin by producing premium electric vehicles for those who were willing to pay, then move into higher unit production with lower prices. 

In the Tesla Masterplan part 2 in 2016, this aim is still very much in mind and will be actioned with the Model 3.

Tesla Masterplan - The Second Installment

The Latest Tesla Model 3 News

Tesla has announced that mass production of the Model 3 is still on track to begin July 2017, this announcement will probably be met with an attitude of 'we will believe it when we see it', as so far Tesla has missed every production deadline set.  

Tesla believe they have learned valuable lessons from the production of the Model X and are using these to make sure the Model 3 stays on track.  Most notable is the much lower number of possible configurations on the Model 3.  The Model X came with over 1,500 ways to configure and personalise your vehicle, this undoubtedly held up production, the Model 3 will have close to 100 possible configurations.

Tesla Model X at Goodwood

Despite a less than favourable production record, interest levels are high, no official figure has been given for the number of reservations made, but experts believe it is safe to assume it is somewhere near the 400,000 mark.  All this with no advertising at all!

"We anti-sell the Model 3.  But our reservations continue to climb week after week.  No advertising, anti-selling, nothing to test drive, still grows every week" - Elon Musk

However, rumour has it there will soon be a Model 3 to test drive.  Those who have reserved a Model 3 have apparently been contacted and informed there will be test drives available towards the end of this year.

Tesla Model 3 Details

This new Tesla will be the most affordable yet, with prices starting at £24,400.  A more reasonable price means an electric future is much more accessible for so many more motorists, and the plan to eventually create high volume low cost electric vehicles is well on track.  At the recent launch event in California Musk even commented that this is the ‘final step in the Tesla master plan’.

tesla model 3 front angle  tesla model 3 side

Tesla have cemented their reputation for high quality electric vehicles that are safe, up to date with the latest technology and …….fast!  So, there is no surprise the announcement of the most affordable Tesla yet has created a frenzy of excitement.  In the 24 hours leading up to the launch event 115,000 orders were taken.

The Model 3 will be built in Tesla’s existing factory in Fremont, California.  However, the lithium battery will be produced in Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.  Opened in 2014 the Gigafactory has the largest footprint of any other building anywhere else in the world.  Once the Gigafactory is fully operational it is expected to produce more lithium batteries than all the other factories in the world combined.

Tesla Model 3 Performance

The Tesla model 3 will have a 0-60mph time of 6 seconds which may seem slow in comparison to previous Tesla vehicles, but Tesla promise other models in the range will provide the speed we have come to expect!  The minimum range declared is 215 miles and the Model 3 will be able to use Supercharging power stations.  At Supercharging power stations a 30 minute charge will provide around 150 miles of range.  There are currently 3,608 around the world and Tesla promise to increase this figure to 7,200 in time for the 2017 launch.

Tesla Model 3 Quick Facts

Price in the UK :

Expected range :

Safety standard :

0-60mph time :

Number of seats :

£24,000

215 miles on a single charge

5* in all categories

Under 6 seconds

Will seat 5 adults comfortably

Technology in the Model 3

Autopilot will be included on this new model which allows the vehicle to autosteer to avoid crashes, change lane automatically, park itself and also includes summon system which is remote control parking at the touch of a button!  Showing Tesla definitely has the move towards autonomous vehicles well on their radar.

Interior and Exterior Features

Although on the outside the Model 3 will be a similar size to other compact executive saloons, inside there is more room available thanks to space saved by not needing a combustion engine.  5 adults can be seated comfortably and there is plenty of storage at the front and rear.  Swooping lines create a flowing body shape with no grille openings.  To add to the feeling of space the entire roof is constructed using a single pane of glass, creating an open and light interior.  A large tablet style touchscreen provides control in the centre of the dashboard.  Behind the steering wheel the usual information displays are not thought to be present with the speedometer on the touchscreen infortainment system.

tesla model 3 glass roof

Updates to Tesla Supercharging

Up until now all Tesla owners have enjoyed free unlimited supercharging, but this is going to come to an end of sorts.  it will not be completely discontinued but will be limited.  For those who have ordered a Tesla from January 1st, 2017 400kWh of supercharging credits will be awarded annually, which equates to around 1000 miles, when these are used up there will be a small charge for power top ups.

Tesla and the New Model Y

The Tesla Model 3 is arguably the most important for Tesla, as the long term viability of the company has been in question after losses of £620m were reported for 2015.  The Model S and X serve niche markets, but a model that has a wide appeal is needed to provide a bigger impact on the car industry.  

The Tesla family so far

The first Tesla model hit the roads in 2008 and was the Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car.  This electric car could accelerate from 0 – 60 mph in only 3.9 seconds and has a range of 245 miles.  The price of the Roadster in the UK started at £86,950.  It was the first production vehicle that to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first purely electric production car to travel over 200 miles on a single charge.  Production of the Roadster ended in 2012.

tesla roadster

The Tesla Model S arrived in 2012 with the slightly more affordable starting price of £52,000.  This luxury saloon can accelerate from 0 -60mph in 2.8 seconds and travel 340 miles on a full charge.  The Tesla model S has been the biggest success story for Tesla to date.  Sales have now passed 100,000 overtaking the Nissan Leaf and gaining the Model S the World’s Best-Selling Electric Vehicle title.

tesla model s

 

After many delays delivery of the Tesla Model X finally happened in 2015.  Model X is the first ever fully electric SUV can reach 60mph from 0 in only 3.2 seconds and has a range of 257 miles. There is space for 7 adults, an abundance of storage, advanced safety features and falcon wing doors to allow easy entry and exit mean the Model X has all the right ingredients to be another big success.

tesla model x

Could the Tesla Model 3 be the vehicle to make electric go mainstream? Does it tempt you to ditch the combustion engine?

The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.

Car related news
16 June 2017
Written by Natalie Faughy
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