The Tesla Model 3 electric sedan will be delivered to its first 30 customers on Friday (28 July) before it goes into high volume production, the company has announced. The Model 3 has been the most awaited car this year since the time of its announcement over a year ago.
The latest model will be the cheapest car sold by Tesla at a price starting at $35,000 (£26,754). The UK site of the company has no mention of expected price but it will be announced soon. Apart from its low price, the company has also put forward a number of promises that make the car an attractive package. The car will reportedly have a range of 215 miles on a single charge, 5-star safety ratings, seat 5 adults, and can reach 60 mph under 6 seconds.
Hardware that supports "Tesla Enhanced Autopilot" will be part of the package, but it is still not clear if the software that powers it will be made available to users right away.
In a Twitter conversation early this January, a follower asked Musk about the upgrade from "Enhanced Autopilot" to "Full Driving Capability". Musk responded by saying it would be ready in 6 months. And, the launch of Model 3 comes 6 months after Musk's answer.
At the time of the announcement, customers had to pay a $1,000 reservation fee after which the Model 3 was promised. In the UK, interested customers can reserve a Model 3 after paying £1,000. The car was unveiled by Elon Musk on 31 March 2016.
However, when it comes to the market, the Model 3 will face competition from the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, VW e-Golf, BMW i3, and the Mercedes B-class Electric Drive in its class. In Tesla's product forums, a question was raised about the validity of a rumour that 400,000 pre-orders have been made so far and that the company has already sold out one full year's worth of manufacturing. Tesla has not officially answered or denied any of those statements. The product website only mentions a mid-2018 delivery date.
Production will ramp up over the next few months and the company is expected to start expanding their capacities by the end of this year. A Bloomberg report estimates that 100 cars will be built in August and by December this number will most likely be 20,000 cars a month.
Tesla is the highest valued automobile company in the US and the fourth in the world right now. This marks the first time in history that the most valuable US car company is a tech firm out of Silicon Valley and not a car producer out of Detroit.