Model 3 OK’d for production, Tesla says
Tesla Inc. investors, customers and fans got some much-anticipated news on the Model 3 timeline when Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk announced Monday that the model passed all its regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule.
“Expecting to complete” the first car Friday, Musk wrote in a Twitter post. The company will hold a handover party for its first 30 customers of the Model 3 on July 28, he said in a separate post.
The Model 3, the company’s most affordable car yet, had been expected to begin production in July, but there had been little news on how the preparations at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., were progressing.
Investors have pushed up shares of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla 69 percent this year in anticipation of the Model 3. The company delivered 25,051 vehicles in the first quarter and aims to make 500,000 in 2018 and 1 million in 2020.
The company now makes two all-electric models: the Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle. The Model 3, which is planned to start at $35,000 before options or incentives, is the culmination of Tesla’s 15-year-quest to reach mainstream consumers with a smaller, more affordable electric car.