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”.