Is this the car that’s going to thrust electric vehicles (EVs) in to the mainstream? Certainly Tesla’s charismatic chief executive Elon Musk thinks so. He has just announced 276,000 pre-orders in 48 hours for the company’s latest EV, the Model 3.
Expected to cost at least $35,000 when it ships in mid-2017, that means the company has secured $9.7 billion worth of sales for a car that is still over a year away from leaving the production line.
In fact Musk estimates an average selling price of $42,000, once all the optional extras are taken into account, meaning that the actual revenue for Tesla could be even higher.
Of course at present the only revenue is the $1,000 deposits for the cars which is just a small portion of the final sale price. However it is bound to help as the company now has an extra $276m in the bank to prepare for what’s sure to be the company’s most ambitious move yet.
Featuring a four wheel drive system, the engine in the new 2017 Tesla Model 3 can obtain a maximum power output of 370 HP with target driving range expected to be 200 miles. We are also expecting that the new Model 3 will go 0-62mph in a time of 4.1 seconds.
Other technology features include USB and Bluetooth connectivity, heated seats, rearview camera and Wi-Fi. Optional features may include the following: self-park, lane continue support, adaptive travel, and even automatic high and low ray headlights.
Although the Model 3 is supposed to be delivered in 2017, there is a chance it could be late as the company’s previous car, the Model X, eventually arrived three years late, due to problems moulding the seats for the car.
The Model 3 will be the third major car in Tesla’s fleet. The Model S, a luxury sedan, was launched in 2012, while the Model X, an SUV/people carrier crossover, was eventually launched last year.
When it goes on sale it will competition from Chevrolet which at CES earlier this year also announced a similarly priced electric vehicle dubbed The Bolt.
You can see Tech Digest’s review of the Model S and its autopilot feature here.
For more information go to //www.teslamotors.com/en_GB/model3