Tesla chief gets first $35,000 Model 3
PALO ALTO, Calif. — The first Tesla Model 3, the automaker’s new $35,000 electric car, rolled off the production line Friday. The car will belong to Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer and co-founder, who shared images of it on Twitter over the weekend.
Tesla has already taken in roughly half a billion dollars in Model 3 deposits, at $1,000 apiece, and its proposed ramp-up schedule would have it rivaling well-established U.S. market peers like BMW and Mercedes by year’s end. To achieve its goal of being the world’s first mass-market electric carmaker, Tesla must prove it can build, deliver, and service enormous numbers of these vehicles — without sacrificing quality.
Tesla plans to hand over the keys to 30 cars at a media event on July 28. It then envisions building 100 cars — about three a day — for the month of August, according to a series of Twitter posts by Musk last week. September will bring another 1,500 cars, and the ramp will build to a rate of 20,000 cars a month by December, Musk said. It’s an aggressive schedule that will more than double Tesla’s total production rate in six months, and then quintuple it by the end of next year.
If Tesla achieves all of Musk’s targets, it will build more battery-powered cars next year than all of the world’s automakers combined in 2016.