Tesla begins to deliver ‘Model 3’
Fremont, US - Tesla began delivering on a dream to make an electric car for the masses, rolling out the first of its keenlyawaited ‘Model 3’ cars, aiming to disrupt a world accustomed to automobiles powered by pollution-spewing fossil fuel.
An initial batch of the ‘Model 3’ cars that rolled out of the Tesla plant in Fremont, California late on Friday were given to customers, most of whom were employees of the company.
Tesla founder and chief Elon Musk proclaimed it a great day for the company, saying the goal was to make a terrific electric car ‘that everyone can buy’. Musk starred in a ceremony at the plant delivering the first batch to their owners.
“It’s the best car for its cost, either electric or gasoline,” he said.
Production of the electric car aimed at the broader market - with a starting price of US$35,000 - will ramp up quickly, according to Musk, with 100 in August and 1,500 or more in September.
Tesla aims to produce 5,000 units of the ‘Model 3’ a week this year, and 10,000 units a week in 2018.
Tesla already sells ‘S’ and ‘X’ model electric cars, but with a starting price of US$80,000 they have been seen as wheels for the wealthy.
The ‘Model 3’ silhouette resembles that of the ‘Model S’, but the new electric ride is smaller with a simpler design.
The vehicle’s battery was designed to keep it going for ‘at least 345km’ before needing to be recharged, according to Tesla. A battery with a longer range is available for more money.
Musk has mentioned in Tesla earnings calls that while early models were packed with innovative engineering, they caused vexation on the assembly line.
The ‘Model 3’, he said, was designed from the outset with mass production in mind to push down cost and crank cars out quickly.
More than a half-million customers have placed deposits to get on the waiting list for the ‘Model 3’, and anyone wanting one will have to wait at least until 2018.
“Demand is not a challenge there,” Musk said, noting that most of the orders have been in the US.
An initial batch of the ‘Model 3’ cars were given to customers, most of whom were employees of Tesla