ORNL achieves 90% efficiency with 20 kW wireless charging for vehicles; looking ahead to 50 kW
New energy-efficient process for direct conversion of biomass without pretreatment to liquid hydrocarbon fuels

Tesla unveils Model 3; delivery by end of 2017; already 115,000 reservations placed

Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk unveiled the long-anticipated Model 3 as the culminating step—a mass-market, affordable electric vehicle—in Tesla’s “Master Plan” to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport.

Musk said that the Model 3 will start at $35,000; achieve 5-Star ratings in every safety category; accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds; and have at least a 215-mile (346 km) EPA range rating. Musk said that those were minimum numbers, and that Tesla hoped to exceed them. Deliveries will begin by the end of next year. Musk also noted that more than 115,000 reservations (with a refundable $1,000) have already been placed worldwide for the Model 3.


All Model 3s will come standard with Autopilot hardware and supercharging.

Musk said that Tesla has already installed more than 3,600 superchargers worldwide, and about the same number of desstination chargers. The company will double the number of supercharger to 7,200 by the end of next year, and quadruple the number of destination chargers to some 15,000.

Tesla also anticipates more than doubling its 215 location in Asia, North America and Europe to 441 locations by the end of next year.

Musk said that he was confident the Fremont factory could handle 500,000 cars per year. To do so, he observed, would require absorbing the current world production of Li-ion batteries—hence, the importance of the Gigafactory in Nevada with its 50 GWh/year capacity.

Musk ended by noting that even the base model Model 3 without any options will be a terrific car: “You will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000”.


Account Deleted

Tesla estimated that 15000 people had lined up in front of Tesla’s physical stores. That is crazy for giving Tesla an interest free loan for a car people will or will not get in 2 to 3 years time and that still is largely unspecified. The old auto industry better pay attention. Tesla will need to build more 50Gwh factories if Tesla can deliver this car for 35000 USD at a profit and make them fully autonomous for a global Tesla taxi service starting in 2020.

I think Tesla will be on time with this car as it does not seem to contain any new features not already done in Model S and X. The battery pack may be different though. Tesla will get a brand new battery factory and has an opportunity to redesign that battery from scratch. I think the battery design is essential for making that price possible. With a minimum EPA range of 215 miles I would think the battery starts at 60 kwh. In order for Tesla to reach the entire market they should also design the Model 3 so that a much larger battery pack is possible. For example, a 100 kwh pack for an EPA range of about 350 miles.

This model 3 is better than the 35000 USD BMW 3 series and the Bolt sucks by comparison. I don’t even have a word to describe how bad the also 35000 USD Nissin Leaf is by comparison. However, the Leaf is here now, the Bolt will be here early next year and the Model 3 is a big maybe volume production by 2018.

Account Deleted

This is a link to The Verge that covers this green car event of the year much better and to the degree that it deserves.


And pictures


Account Deleted

After seeing the whole event I can see that there is one world first in the Model 3. It will come standard with a windshield that extends from the front and all the way to the back. That is even more than the one made for the Model X that is currently the world's largest windshield. So panoramic roof will be standard on Model 3. Supercharging is also standard but that was expected. Tesla is still the only automaker in the world that makes cars with 120kw superchargers and that has a global supercharger network to support it.

Also I noted that during the Tesla event it was said that toxic gasses from gassers and diesels prematurely kills 55,000 US citizens each year in addition to the 30,000 US citizens that are killed each year in auto accidents. So the auto industry is responsible for 85,000 US deaths per year or about the same number of people that the US lost each year during second world war.

It is time for legislators to get really serious about auto safety and emissions. 85,000 dearths are just creasy. It could be cut to 8000 if the legislation demanded it. With a 35000 USD price for a car that does not cause any premature death due to air pollution and is much safer than any other non-Tesla car on the market maybe we need to start talking about banning registration of new cars with combustion engines for people living in city centers and who has access to a parking space with a charger.

Account Deleted

Autoblog has a good video with a test drive of the Model 3 and they also film this enormous panoramic roof that will be standard on the Model 3.


Account Deleted

In this video report there is some interesting info on the weight and making of the Model 3. It will be made of a mix of aluminum and steel unlike the Model S that is nearly all aluminum. The exact choice of materials has not yet been finalized. Because of more steel it will not be much less heavy than the Model S despite its smaller footprint. Cabin space is much the same as Model S because of a shorter nose than Model S. It may actually have more space at the back seat (roof height) than Model S. It will have trunks both in the front and the back like model S and offer more trunk space than BMW 3 series.



Yes Henrik. If batteries performance and cost improve by 10%/year, TESLA 3 with 100 kWh to 120 kWh pack could become the first affordable (under $50K) extended range BEV by 2020 or shorty thereafter.

Account Deleted

It is not 10% per year. It is more like 4 to 5% per year long term and it is not steady growth but a bumpy one with zero improvement for most years and then 10% in other years where something new is implemented. I am still sceptical about Tesla actually selling at 35,000 USD before tax incentives. I think it will have to be higher than that for the car to be profitable. 35,000 USD will imply that Tesla can make a 60 khw battery plus a 250 hp electric motor and power electronics plus a gear box for the same cost that BMW can make a 250 hp gasser engine with gear and exhaust system. I doubt it. Tesla must make money or they will bankrupt so better take 40,000 USD for that model 3 when it is ready to sell and then say in 2018 that cost has increased since 2016 when it was announced.


Agree. The Leaf specs won't compare. Nissan management has been sleeping when they should have been innovating right along. Wonder what their stockholders think about the five year lead in EVs Nissan has squandered.


People also underestimate how nice it is not to visit gas stations.
Visiting a supercharger on a trip is actually relaxing - you get the needed 30 minute break every 3 hrs, without the guilt of feeling like you are ruining your average mph - because you have to take the 30 or 35 mins, you don't rush through the stop like you (I) would with a gas car.

And for all of those weeks and months you stay in town, you never have to pull into a mini-mart, which for me is a joy.


I also think Toyota has missed the transition. Of course the transition doesn't happen for another 5 yrs at the earliest, but I'd say Toyota has perfected the ICE vehicle by making it a hybrid.

Taking the next step towards a no-gas car, it seems like Toyota is not playing that game. Prius Prime is a yawner (4 seater? what were they thinking?), and the fuel cell vehicle is way too early (but it is a nice research vehicle).

Tesla's supercharger network could be the vital piece of the puzzle that everyone else is missing - it is needed to elevate sales into the millions of cars in my opinion.

Account Deleted

This is just in. Now the preorders for Model 3 is 180,000 and thousands still coming in every hour. Their signup page is slow you can "feel" the server is overloaded but still holding up.


Account Deleted

Musk also Tweeted that Tesla will expand to Brazil, idia and other new countries they take reservations for Model 3 in these countries now.



At 180,000+ and still going, TESLA 3 may catch up with and/or surpass the Model S sales before 2020?

Extended range AWD 'D' versions will probably go as high as $50K.

Brian Petersen

I gathered from the video review posted earlier that the all-glass roof will be optional. I'm not sure I'd want it. A hit from an errant baseball would be expensive. My own (current) car has a panoramic roof, but it's polycarbonate (shatterproof) and very impact resistant.

Also, that transparent roof had better be heavily tinted, preferably with something reflective (which doesn't seem to be the case in some photos) - just imagine the air conditioning load in a southern climate otherwise!

The $35k model won't have all wheel drive, won't have the panoramic roof, won't have Autopilot (the hardware will be in place but it won't be software enabled, so it will only have the safety-related features, e.g. auto braking), and I'm sure there will be other ways that Tesla encourages people to pay more than the base price ... or buy a Model S instead.

As for this versus the Bolt ... The Bolt has one big advantage - a hatch! The Model 3 has a mail-slot for a trunk opening, as do many other compact-ish cars today. The Bolt will also be better for those who want something that looks and feels more like a normal car (or CUV, given that it's closer to a Chevrolet Trax than a Sonic). The big downside ... no access to Supercharger stations. I wouldn't say the Bolt "sucks" by comparison - the absence of a hatch opening in the Model 3 takes it off my list, while the Bolt passes that test, and I also think the Bolt is going to be smaller which will fit in my driveway better. But the other shorter-range EVs are going to suffer by comparison.

Account Deleted

Brian I am nearly certain you are wrong about the panoramic windshields. It will come standard on the rear and front but the 2 foot or so in between that is a solid roof will have an optional panoramic window for some extra dollars. Tesla’s designers need that rear windshield to be panoramic in order to increase roof height at the backseat without increasing the height of the car and thereby destroying the aerodynamics needed for long range at highway driving speeds. It also makes a less claustrophobic cabin.

Model 3 looks like a 40,000 USD gasser outside and inside whereas the Bolt looks like a 20,000 USD gasser outside and inside. You might have a point about a hatch that makes the rear trunk more accessible in the Bolt but that to most people is a small point. The model 3 looks better, it is faster, it probably has more trunk space and it has super charging at 120k watt and a network to support it. Its standard autopilot safety features are certainly much safer than the Bolt’s safety features that also cannot be upgraded to a full autopilot. I bet the Model 3 will also have an upgradable battery pack like the Model S and X. All of that stuff is missing in the Bolt. Nor will all of the Bolts systems be OTA upgradable like they are in all of Tesla’s cars.


I think that the Tesla 3 may look better than the Chevy Bolt (and a lot better than the Leaf) but the Bolt may be a bit more practical. However, in my opinion, the real advantage that the Bolt has is that it is made by a profitable dividend paying company. I give Tesla (and Elon Musk) a lot of credit for making it this far and I really hope that they make it but this is not an easy place for a start-up. I know that there are a lot of die hard Tesla fans out there and probably more than a few GM haters left that will disagree with me but it will be even harder for Tesla to make a profit manufacturing a car with a lower price point. (I would also add that one disadvantage the Bolt has is the name -- who came up with that? But that is also just a personal opinion)


Well, they are on track to have one of the best selling vehicles in the world today.... Assuming everyone that reserved is buying.

Kudos, but it really would be cool if tesla would have all those cars sold in the same model year, like wait till October and just sell them as 2019s and get as many out as possible.

I can't wait to get a used one in a few years.

Account Deleted

Musk has said he expects Tesla to be able to launch a fully self-driving autopilot by early 2018. That is just in time for making such a system available as an extra option for Model 3. It may only work fully autonomously on 90% of all public roads but the car would tell the driver if the planned route can be driven in autopilot mode all the way so the driver can spend time on other stuff like working. That autopilot feature could be the thing that will make a healthy gross margin on model 3. It could be a 5000 USD option. Since the hardware is available in all cars in order to give them the safety related autopilot features the 5000 USD markup of the price is going to be pure profit for Tesla.

A middleclass family man or women could use the autopilot to do 300 additional hours of paid work per year in the car at 25 USD per hour making 7500 USD per year before tax and 4500 USD after tax so paying 5000 USD for this autopilot feature will be something nearly everybody will do. That would allow Tesla to sell the base model for 40,000 USD at least and make a healthy 5000 USD gross profit on it. I doubt Tesla has much of a gross margin on the base 35,000 USD model without any options.

I think Tesla will offer many extra options like dual motor 4WD, access to superchargers and performance editions and ludicrous speed editions with 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 sec. Also a 100 kwh battery pack option leather seats special tires etc. I think a fully loaded Model 3 will cost you 70,000 USD just like a fully loaded model s or x also doubles their base price. I expect Tesla’s autopilot hardware and software to be identical across all Tesla models in order to save cost from economics of scale and simplicity at Tesla’s factory and repair shops.

GM is IMO leading the old auto-industry with the Bolt but Tesla will be leading the entire global auto industry if they can launch and mass produce the Model 3 for 35,000 USD and make money doing it although that money may only come from people ordering extra features like autopilot. That would be revolutionary for the industry because it is a better car deal than any other 35,000 USD gassers on the market. Model 3 is a better car and you will save additional thousands of USD per year on fuel and from being able to work in the car if you order the autopilot feature as well.


This reminds me of iPhone sales... It is a very good thing for EVs, people waiting in line.

I can't afford one, I don't think they are where I want them to be yet. But I think when they price themselves at or below the average cost of a new car they are getting where they need to be.

I hope everyone who reserves one buys one. At 200k units Tesla can sail on smoothly.

My pros about the car that would make me strongly think about it. 0-60, the look, seats 5, no maint. Autopilot
Cons range, a sunroof that may not be glass...(glass is nice because it filters UV light and it quite durable against scratches and breaks especially curved glass.)

I think if I were to get a vehicle like what we know about the Tesla 3 today, it'd have to be priced at ~$17000, so I'd have to get it used. I payed 8900, for my 2014 fiesta in 2015.

The autopilot feature is one of the most attractive feature for me.

Some other things that aren't are if I were to buy this and it needed service, where would I go?

I am also surprised that tesla still has the crown as electric supercar, I know that normal production changes take about 2+ years to ramp up to production, and things like batteries and other possible safety and drive train things take closer to 5-10years to get out the door, but I'm still surprised a direct competitor isn't on the road. Battery vehicles, if done right can be much simpler to make than ices and thus quicker to market. Though having said that, I think that automakers would have to make new platforms to directly market something like that, and that's something not done lightly.

Account Deleted

CE88 the reason Tesla does not get competition is that the old auto industry has grown complacent. It thinks it is impossible to reinvent the industry and that scale and marketing is the only thing that matters for being competitive. Tesla is small so they don’t think they will survive. Tesla’s costs are too high they think. However, Tesla is not small for the 100k USD per car market they currently occupy. And they still grow at 50%. Tesla will take 50% of the global market for 100k USD cars by 2020. They will sell about 200k unis of model s x and a new rodster. They will also sell another 300 k units of model 3. The global market for 100k USD cars is only about 400k units. The global market is more like 10 to 15 million for the 35k USD car so the model 3 has enormous market appeal. Of cause shortly after 2020 things are going to change even more dramatically in the auto industry when those small self-driving taxis moving people for 20 cents per mile are starting to erode the global market for private car sales. We only need 20 million self-driving 2 seaters per year to replace the production of 100 million non-self-driving gassers. Tesla and Apple and Google can get to 20 million small self-driving units per year by 2030 so if the old auto industry does not come up with similar products they will all be gone by 2030.


Well, Tesla has lots of influence, whether or not that is of long term worth has yet to be seen.

Those old dinosaurs employ 25% of the US directly and indirectly. A paradigm shift is kind of big.

Tesla good at marketing, and providing a good user experience. They don't have the assets, nor the clout that they need to get things to market on schedule and in numbers as promised, if the launch of the three doesn't go smoothly it could be a disaster and the end of Tesla.

Chevy can fail miserably at the Bolt and still be around. VW has failed all over the globe and is being sued like mad, they ll be here.

I know how the system works from the inside, Tesla is an exception, but it's hard to say long term.

200k is a lot of volume for your fourth or so model. Scaling will be the largest challenge for musk.

My wager is when BEVs are more marketable the dinosaurs will sell them. Two person shuttles are also a bit of a stretch in my mind.

Brian Petersen

It does appear that the back half of the roofline is one big window and it is only a short section above the front seats that will be either fixed, or panoramic, or an openable sunroof.

I understand the point about optimising rear seat headroom versus aerodynamics.

I still have serious reservations about this design feature.

An errant baseball, or hailstone, or tent post (happened to me) will be expensive.

Glass provides zero cushioning in the event of a collision that results in a head impact. If it is not laminated safety glass (same construction as a windshield) it will not even provide any containment in the event of a collision that shatters the glass. Instant convertible - and instant ejection if someone isn't wearing their seat belts.

Glass is heavy, too.

Unless a good portion of this glass is heavily tinted (and the prototype pictures don't suggest that it is), and with a film that is reflective as opposed to absorptive, the rear seat is going to be a very uncomfortable place on a sunny day, and it will create a pretty substantial air conditioning load.

I can't help but think that the inch or so of roofline that this design MIGHT have saved is going to cost the vehicle more in A/C load and weight than the tiny aerodynamic benefit would ever save.

Don't get me wrong - I hope Tesla does well, and it sure appears that they'll sell a bunch of these. But I know that the local Chevrolet dealer is still going to be there in another 10 years.

Am I biased? I'd hope not. I have a customer that builds parts both for GM (including the Bolt) and Tesla! Either way, it's all good!

Account Deleted

Brian Tesla uses a glass that darkens when the sun is bright and become fully transparent when it is dark. Same stuff you can get for glasses. In Model X you can also pull some physical sun blockers that reside at the left and right side of the roof. I am sure something similar will be made for the back seats in Model 3. They need to do it in a genius manner in order not to change the roof height. Electronic glass exists that can be blocked by the push of a bottom or a spoken command. That may cost extra to get. A lees expensive option could be to roll out a sun blocking sheet from the rear that could be fastened to the roof by some magnetic stuff like an iPad cover attachment. Glass is heavy. Or it used to be. Thanks to inventions in synthetic glass covers for smart phones that glass is getting stronger and thinner and less heavy every year. We are at Gorilla glass 4 now and it keeps evolving. For safety reasons I am sure the rear glass will also be laminated as the front glass is. You can’t have that much glass braking and flying around at high speeds in a hard crash. It is laminated of cause.

I also noted that the Model 3 is novel in not having a front grill and an instrument cluster. That is cost saving and not needed at all in an electric car. I still think the final version of the model 3 will get a second screen build into the steering wheel showing speed, directions and battery range. Otherwise the instrument cluster is gone for good in Tesla’s coming cars. It will make the cost of producing right and left driver seat versions of Tesla’s cars minimal and Tesla will be able to launch both versions simultaneously and globally when a new car is made.

I am still a bit shocked about the 35,000 USD price level for the model 3. It is half the price of Model S and Model 3 is not half as good as Model S 70. It is nearly as good. Hopefully, the reveal of model 3 will not start to cannibalize the sales of Model S. I don’t think it will because the number of preorders is now so high that even if you preorder a model 3 today you will not get it until sometime in 2019. Many simply can’t wait that long. Also the Model X is a much larger car than Model 3 so that car at least should not be cannibalized in any way by model 3. However, the expectations for model 3 will diminish sales of Nissan Leaf and the Bolt. The only truly good selling point of the Bolt is that it is available 12 to 18 months before the deliveries of model 3 start and probable 3 years before a new reservation for model 3 can be delivered. So the Bolt will sell and also because it is a much better deal than the Leaf and e-Golf etc on the market.

Account Deleted

One more remark about a second screen on the steering wheel. It has to be circular and a sensor should make sure the video stay horizontal when the wheel is turned so it is easy to read. I could imagine that Tesla saved a 1000 USD by not making an instrument cluster and the design looks far more elegant and modern without a messy looking instrument cluster.

Brian Petersen

You are imagining a screen ON the steering wheel itself?

Airbag ...

And if you stuff the airbag behind that screen, now you have a hard object potentially with broken sharp edges being flung directly at the driver's face in the event of an airbag deployment.

They're not going to do that. Won't happen.

The comments to this entry are closed.