Just on the deadline of March 2016, Tesla Motors have unveiled their new entry model EV: the Tesla Model 3. The long awaited Tesla Model 3 is set to lower the entry barrier to electric driving and is Tesla’s ultimate tool into making electric driving accessible for almost everyone. This is the new EV that will accelerate the electric revolution even further.
Completely in their own way and style, Tesla Motors have chosen to unveil their new model in California instead of on one of the world’s major auto shows. It’s this untraditional approach that characterizes Tesla’s current strategy and probably makes it so successful. Make no mistake about it, rows in front of Tesla Stores started to form weeks ago and with over 115,000 orders already placed, this could be Tesla’s ultimate breakthrough.
The presentation and media circus around it is in many ways similar to the way Steve Jobs used to present new Apple products. It’s all about the tech and the excitement around it. Early adopters have been waiting in lines forever to place their order with Tesla, only to wait at least a year longer before deliveries commence. Call it revolutionary for the automobile industry, tens of thousands of people placing orders for a car that they haven’t even seen yet.
So let’s get to it then, what is going to make the Tesla Model 3 such a huge success? In terms of looks it’s unmistakably related to both the Model S and Model X. It adopts the front of the electric SUV and the rear is clearly inspired by that of the Model S. It has a slightly edgier appearance and is of course a tad smaller than its relatives. The front-end does make the car look a bit more aggressive than both the Model X and Model S. More funky stuff is happening on the side, where Tesla Motors have added some extra wheel options to their inventory.
The interior is where it’s at with Tesla and we see many similarities to both the Model S and Model X. The Model 3 is supposed to seat up to five passengers “comfortably” and has the full glass panoramic roof. Like we’re used from Tesla, luggage space is found at both the front and rear of the car.
Simplicity is at the center of Model 3’s interior. There are barely any buttons or switches, as all functionality is integrated within an updated touch screen interface. The screen makes an even more prominent appearance than the 17-inch touch screen that we know from both other Tesla models. In terms of styling and premium packages, once again there should be plenty of opportunities to customize the car to one’s liking, albeit at a hefty price.
Tesla always has you covered when it comes to performance. Insane mode, ludicrous mode, anything goes following Mr. Musk’s statement at the official presentation late last night: “We don’t make slow cars”. The base model 3 that sets you back an acceptable $35,000 should accelerate to a 100 km/h in under six seconds. Spec your model 3 with one of Tesla’s fancy speed upgrades and that time could almost be cut in half to somewhere between three and four seconds. The range of the base Model 3 is expected to be around 215 miles, but could possibly go even further. This too, of course, is expendable by ticking the range upgrade off the lengthy option list.
Additionally Musk stated that Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving capabilities such as Autopilot and several safety features, will come standard with the $35,000 Model 3. Likewise to the other models, with the Model 3 customers can tap into Tesla’s ever expanding supercharger network for free. Speaking of which, the supercharger network is one of those points that determine the Model 3’s future success. Tesla Motors have indicated that they hope to double the amount of superchargers in North America, Europe and Asia to 7,500 by the time the Model 3 hits the road. So called “destination chargers” are expected to quadruple in quantity to a massive 15,000 worldwide.
With the recently opened Gigafactory in Nevada, world’s largest building, production capacity should be at an all-time high for Tesla Motors. The total annual production of cars already requires the world’s combined amount of Lithium-ion batteries, which is why the Gigafactory was built in the first place. The Gigafactory by itself should be capable of producing more Lithium-ion batteries per year than the rest of the world combined, which is already impressive. What does that mean for production quantities? If all goes well, Tesla Motors is expected to produce a whopping 500,000 electric vehicles per annum once all facilities hit full steam.
As mentioned before, the waiting game has only started once an order is placed. First deliveries of the Model 3 are expected to take place late next year. To underline the importance of this car, Elon Musk said that no matter how mind-blowing the Model S and Model X were at their introduction, they’re considered to be merely stepping stones to the Tesla Model 3. We can’t wait to give the Model 3 a go, although we are yet to test drive the Tesla Model X…