When Tesla announced the Roadster, it was clear that Musk wanted to build an electric car that looked great and had best-in-class technology. The Roadster was a costly car. Musk wanted to maximise earnings while delivering fewer cars, so that the company could proceed to build a more affordable model. The Model S and the Model X both are excellent cars, but for the average customer they are still well out of reach, with their hefty price tag of $70,000+. But Musk had other plans too, which has given way to the ultimate $35,000 electric car.
Let me put that into perspective. An average car sold in the US costs about $33,500. It usually has a standard gasoline engine and is technologically primitive. The Model 3 costs $35,000. It packs in the Supercharger technology, is built for Autopilot, has a huge touchscreen display in the inside, a 215 miles range, does 0-100 km/h in 6 seconds and is 100% eco-friendly. This car is essentially what mankind needs - a powerful, elegant, futuristic and sustainable vehicle.
Take a glance at the Model 3 and you’ll immediately see the Tesla styling. The car lacks a front grill, but makes up with the continuous glass top. It looks spacious and welcoming. Perhaps Tesla took a few elements from the Porsche 911 or the Ferrari FF, and the car looks as good as a $35,000 car should.
Musk announced today that the Model 3 is fully equipped to support Tesla’s Autopilot system, including all safety features, making it a 5-star safety rating car. Also, this car will feature the most advanced lithium-ion batteries that give it the 215 mile range. These batteries will be produced at Tesla’s Gigafactory, which is the largest building by footprint and second largest by volume in the world. The Gigafactroy is the key to reducing manufacturing costs for the company.
The Model 3 is the car that Elon Musk always wanted to make. It is a powerful symbol of technology meeting automobile. Moreover, it is car that’ll kindle a revolution - the electric car revolution. To make this car an even greater success, Tesla will be launching the Model 3 in certain countries where the brand still doesn’t exist. Tesla is bringing its cars and Superchargers to many more countries around the world, almost doubling its Supercharger stations count and quadrupling destination charging locations. There will also be 226 new Tesla stores and service centres by end of 2017. And yes, this includes India.
The Model 3 in India will be a pricy alternative to a BMW 3 series or a Mercedes C-class. This is especially the case if import tax for the Model 3 is very high. We might look at a price tag of anywhere between 30 to 50 lakhs for the car, which is well into the premium segment for most Indian customers. Moreover, since India has no (or very few) dedicated electric car charging stations, let alone Superchargers, the Model 3 might face tough competition from the petrol alternatives. Still, there are a tremendous number of Tesla fans here in India waiting for the Model 3. All we can hope is that the Indian government supports and subsidises this car under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles) policy and makes electric cars on Indian roads a possibility.
In the last decade, Tesla went from making a sports vehicle to an affordable electric car for the masses. Elon Musk’s ambition and passion for putting electric vehicles on the world map will pay off with the Model 3.
The Model 3 has already been reserved by over 115,000 people in the hour of its release this day. That amounts for $150 million in just reservations for Tesla, showing the ever growing demand for the Model 3.
Elon musk said yesterday on Twitter that today’s event was part 1 of 2 in the release of the Model 3. We will see more detailed specs and features in a second presentation next year before the car ships in late 2017.
Below are a few more pictures of the car.