It’s the moment car aficionados have been waiting for—the final unveiling of the Tesla Model 3. Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared pictures of the highly anticipated car on Twitter, saying the company’s first mass-market electric vehicle is ready for mass production.
Ready for the Road
Musk’s photos show the sleek sedan in all its glory with a design that undeniably belongs to a Tesla. The car is owned by Musk and was first off the production line at the company’s headquarters in California.
Customers put $1,000 deposits on the car when it was first introduced in March, and the customer who was first, a Tesla board member, gave his spot to Musk as a birthday present, continuing the trend that Musk owns the first of each Tesla car produced.
But other customers won’t be far behind—the first customers will receive their Model 3s on July 28, when the first batch of 30 cars is delivered. Production will grow to 1,500 cars in September and then 20,000 cars per month by December.
Overall, there are around 725,000 pre-orders that should be delivered close to the order each customer put their name on the waiting list, meaning most people won’t get their cars until at least 2018. Of those pre-orders, 325,000 happened in the first week after the initial announcement, which is estimated to equal around $14 billion in sales.
Tesla’s New Future
Up until this point, Tesla has focused on creating a smaller amount of higher-end electric vehicles that are targeted at a very affluent clientele. The cars were noted for reliability and strong performance, but came with a hefty price tag.
The Model 3 marks the company’s move into production for the masses with a quality product at a price point more mainstream people can afford. The base price for the Model 3 is $35,000, almost half of Tesla’s next most affordable model, yet it still features many of the characteristics Teslas are known for.
The Model 3 was first introduced in March, and Musk has said there won’t be any dramatic changes to what was first introduced, though that will be left to see until cars start hitting the road in a few weeks.
The Model 3 is designed to be one of the safest vehicles on the road and to achieve a range of 215 miles per charge while still offering quality performance and spaciousness. According to Musk, most of the work over the last few months has been to test and tweak components of the car to make sure it is ready to hit the road.
The strategy to focus on mass-produced electric vehicles seems to be paying off—Tesla’s share price more than doubled from December to June as more investors got on board with Musk’s vision.
However, the company lost money over the last full financial year and has seen global deliveries towards the bottom of its predicted range so far in 2017.
Some point to potential customers waiting for the Model 3 to go to production as a reason numbers are down, but we’ll have to wait and see how the numbers change or potentially rebound with the Model 3’s mass production.
Though we likely won’t be seeing Tesla Model 3s on the road in large amounts for at least another year, the unveiling of the finished product is another major stepping stone for the company and shows the world what to expect from the next wave of electric vehicles.