Tesla delivers first Model 3, says 310 miles of range possible

Created to be smaller, simpler and easier to assemble than its bigger sibling, the Model 3 is also priced to compete in the heart of the auto market.

Tesla already sells "S" and "X" model electric cars, but with a starting price of $80,000 they have been seen as wheels for the wealthy. Chief executive officer Elon Musk told reporters that the company has more than.

The base Model 3 will face off against a fierce competitive set of entry-level luxury sedans from the likes of Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes. Tesla's mass-market Model 3 is now rolling into customer garages, as a slew of official details and images are let loose by the Californian EV specialist.

CHARGING: The base model can get 130 miles (209 km) of range in 30 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger or 30 miles (48 km) of range per hour with a 240-volt home charger. It "achieves 215 miles (346 km) of range per charge" and is "designed to attain the highest safety ratings in every category".

The vehicle's battery was created to keep it going for "at least 215 miles" (345 km) before needing to be recharged, according to Tesla. CEO Elon Musk handed the keys over to the first few owners at the company's Fremont factory.

Musk repeated his pledge to boost Model 3's annual production rate to 500,000 next year, but acknowledged there'd have to be a sharp ramp-up to meet that target.

"Anywhere on Earth (where) there is electricity, you can charge your auto", Musk said.

The Model 3 is Tesla's biggest bet to date. "It's going to be quite a challenge to build this auto". However, some readers may not be aware of the fact that our long term plan is to build a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars.

First unveiled in March previous year and detailed only in vague terms, the Model 3 has been the subject of intense speculation up until now.

Combined sales of Model S and Model X vehicles in the first half of this year were estimated to tally from 47,000 to 50,000.

While not a trim level per se, the $5,000 Premium Pack brings all-round heated seats, which gain power adjustment in the front. Whatever you have to do to afford the Autopilot option, make it happen, it is absolutely worth the price of admission. And what if you ordered a vehicle today? "Standard features also include full self-driving hardware, Supercharging capability, a rear glass roof, a 15" touchscreen display, Wi-Fi and LTE internet connectivity, free over-the air software updates, full LED lighting, and an 8-year, 100,000 mile battery warranty.

"We aimed for a very simple, clean design, because in the future - really, the future being now - the cars will be increasingly autonomous", Musk said.

Eighteen-inch wheels and tires are standard, with sport wheels and 19-inch all-season tires a $1,500 option. But one key aspect stuck out from the brief presentation: The revered, "more-affordable Tesla" isn't exactly coming out at the price point we've been hearing about for months. The Bolt is fast, with a 0 to 60 time of 6.5 seconds. After a successful and unprecedented pre-sale, which racked up billions of dollars worth of pre-orders, Tesla has scrambled to prepare for unexpected demand.

  • Arturo Norris