Tesla Model 3 unveiled, deliveries to begin in late 2017

The Tesla Model 3 has finally been released at the Tesla design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The new entry level model was confirmed to start at $35,000 and promises a range of at least 215 miles. Perhaps even as much as $55,000 or $60,000 due to customers adding more features like a bigger battery pack with greater range.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the second part would come closer to production. Musk said the Model 3 will accelerate to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. He told that the car will come standard with autopilot hardware and comfortable seating for 5 adults.

Musk said Tesla plans to double its 3600 Superchargers worldwide by the end of 2017. The company will also quadruple the number of destination chargers and increase the number of Tesla from 215 to 441.

Within 24 hours of launching its first lower-price electric car, Tesla locked in a large base of paid reservations directly from retail buyers, not dealers, for the model. The number of Model 3 reservations topped 150,000. That means 150,000 people have put down a refundable deposit of $1,000 to reserve a Model 3.

The South African-born executive suggested those at the event sign up to order the new battery-electric vehicle, but they’ll have to wait in line. Even before the car was revealed, Musk declared, vehicle won’t reach showrooms before late 2017 said officials.

The Model 3’s interior is much simple compared to that of the Model S or Model X. there’s no gauge cluster and there’s hardly anything on the center console. But in true Tesla fashion, there’s a large central touchscreen – in this case one that’s free-floating, oriented horizontally, and which measures 15 inches. The layout lets both driver and passenger easily access the screen, and the left edge is close enough to the act as an instrument display. Tesla offering autopilot as a standard feature is a big deal, as anyone who buys one of these cars will have the ability to take their hands of the wheel.

One person waiting outside a Tesla store said, ‘I have a feeling this is going to be one of the best cars ever made.’

Another Tesla fan waiting to reserve a Model 3 said, ‘this is a car company that is breaking the mold and doing stuff incredibly differently, and I totally trust that they are going to come out with an awesome car two years from now.’

Nissan is reportedly working up a second-generation version of its Leaf battery-car expected to also get about 200 miles. And a flood of other, established automakers — ranging from Ford to Volkswagen — have similar projects in the works.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International