Tesla’s new ve­hi­cle, Model 3, to ar­rive July 28. »

Tesla: First cars will come off assem­bly line Fri­day

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW YORK» The first Tesla Model 3 elec­tric car for the masses should come off the assem­bly line Fri­day, with the first de­liv­er­ies in late July, the com­pany’s CEO says.

CEO Elon Musk, in sev­eral Twit­ter mes­sages early Mon­day, says the new car passed all gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments for pro­duc­tion to be­gin two weeks ahead of sched­ule. The com­pany plans to hold a party to hand over the first 30 Model 3s to cus­tomers July 28, Musk wrote in a tweet.

The Model 3’s price is to start at about $35,000 and, with a $7,500 fed­eral elec­tric car tax credit, could cost $27,500. Tesla says the five-seat car will be able to go 215 miles (346 kilo­me­ters) on a sin­gle charge and will be sporty, ac­cel­er­at­ing from zero to 60 mph in un­der six sec­onds.

Musk tweeted that the com­pany ex­pects to pro­duce 100 cars in Au­gust and more than 1,500 in Septem­ber. “Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in De­cem­ber,” he wrote.

That fig­ure is less than pre­vi­ous es­ti­mates. Musk ear­lier had said Tesla would make 10,000 Model 3s per week by De­cem­ber.

Tesla also said Mon­day that it de­liv­ered about 22,000 ve­hi­cles in the sec­ond quar­ter, bring­ing first-half de­liv­er­ies to about 47,100.

That’s at the low end of the com­pany’s pre­dic­tion ear­lier this year of 47,000 to 50,000 Model S sedan and Model X SUV de­liv­er­ies in the first half, as much as a 71 per­cent in­crease over a year ago.

While sec­ond-quar­ter de­liv­er­ies rose 53 per­cent from a year ago, they still were about 12 per­cent be­low first-quar­ter de­liv­er­ies. Tesla said that sec­ond-quar­ter pro­duc­tion was ham­pered by a se­vere short­fall of bat­tery packs. Pro­duc­tion av­er­aged 40 per­cent less than de­mand un­til early June, the com­pany said.

Tesla said that as long as global eco­nomic con­di­tions don’t worsen con­sid­er­ably, it is con­fi­dent that sec­ond-half Model S and Model X de­liv­er­ies are likely to ex­ceed de­liv­er­ies in the first half.

Musk’s tweets about the Model 3 ap­pear to erase doubts that Tesla would be able to meet dead­lines for mass pro­duc­ing the cars, which is key to the com­pany mak­ing money. Pre­vi­ously it has faced de­lays in get­ting ve­hi­cles to mar­ket. The Palo Alto, Calif.,-based com­pany aims to make 10,000 Model 3s per week in 2018.

Tesla hasn’t said how many peo­ple have put down $1,000 re­fund­able de­posits for the Model 3, but Musk has said peo­ple who put down a de­posit now won’t get a car un­til the end of 2018.

Tesla’s last new ve­hi­cle, the Model X SUV, was de­layed nearly 18 months. Musk says the Model 3 is much sim­pler to make, but 14-year-old Tesla has no ex­pe­ri­ence pro­duc­ing and sell­ing ve­hi­cles in high vol­umes. Tesla made just 84,000 cars last year. Big­ger ri­vals like Gen­eral Mo­tors, Volk­swa­gen and Toy­ota sell around 10 mil­lion ve­hi­cles per year.

Even if the Model 3 is on time, ser­vic­ing all those ve­hi­cles will still be a chal­lenge. Model S and Model X own­ers are wor­ried about hav­ing to share Tesla’s com­pany-owned charg­ing sta­tions with an in­flux of new cars.

Un­til re­cently, Tesla owned the mar­ket for fully-elec­tric ve­hi­cles that can go 200 miles or more on a charge. But that’s chang­ing. GM beat Tesla to the mass mar­ket with the Chevro­let Bolt, a $36,000 car that goes 238 miles per charge. Audi plans to in­tro­duce an elec­tric SUV with 300 miles of range next year; Ford will have one by 2020. Volk­swa­gen plans more than 30 elec­tric ve­hi­cle mod­els by 2025.

As­so­ci­ated Press file

Tesla Mo­tors un­veiled the lower-priced Model 3 sedan at the Tesla Mo­tors de­sign stu­dio in Hawthorne, Calif., in March.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.