Everything you need to know about Tesla’s next revolutionary electric vehicle can be found right here on the E-Car Club website.
Tesla’s Model 3 is due to hit the roads this year, becoming their first mass-production battery electric vehicle to enter the mainstream market in the process.
It will also be the tech firm’s cheapest model yet and will rival many similarly priced more conventional saloons, such as; the Volkswagen Passat, Skoda Superb and Toyota Avensis.
400,000 Model 3 pre-orders were sold following its debut last March, with customers paying a £1,000 deposit to be among the first to get the eagerly anticipated EV.
So let’s talk a bit more about the car…
While the overall design is very Tesla, the Model 3 introduces some new design traits, most notably the flat, grille-less face at the front. This keeps things simple for aerodynamic purposes, allowing maximum range – it has a target drag coefficient of just 0.21cd for optimum efficiency.
Overall the car is smaller than the Model S, the short front and rear downsizes the vehicles profile. The glass roof stretches from the bottom of the windshield into the rear end. Also worth noting the car doesn’t have a rear boot, instead, a second storage places lies under the bonnet.
Optional alloy wheels and exterior colours are available. The full range of customisation options will be available when the Model 3’s configurator launches further down the line.
Tesla hasn’t released much information about the Model 3’s interior. The fairly empty setup boasting a 15-inch horizontal monitor in the middle, seen during the reveal, is probably not the finished product – either that or there’s far more to it that meets the eye.
Musk has since tweeted that the Model 3 will feel like a ‘spaceship’ on the inside, which leads us to believe that the company has a big secret up its sleeve.
Despite being the cheapest car in the Tesla range, the Model 3 will come with self-driving features. However, while the hardware will be fitted to cars as standard, you’ll have to pay a heft premium to activate them.
Enhanced Autopilot features start at $5,000 (£4,100). For that, you’ll be offered self-driving capabilities on highways, self-parking and the ability to summon the vehicle over a short distance.
Power, charging & range
The Model 3 will be capable of at least 215 miles on a single charge. That minimum amount should be achieved with a battery around 60kWh, although it will be sold with a range of packs.
One way to boost the vehicle’s range and performance will be to add the dual-motor powertrain option, as well as the four-wheel drive electric propulsion, as on the Model S. Which should be significantly faster than the two-wheel drive versions.
The most puzzling aspect of the Model 3 is charging. Tesla has a growing Supercharger network dotted around key route across much of the UK and worldwide, which allows its drivers quick and free top-ups on the go. At the car’s reveal, Musk said owners would get access to the stations and at first, it appeared they would be offered free charging. Since then, he has said it won’t be thrown in as standard.
We won’t speculate on how the new charging system will work. But it’s been rumoured it could be one of the car’s most expensive options, made in a one-off payment when purchasing the vehicle. Or a new feature, ‘Supercharger Credits’, Tesla owners could be offered a pay-as-you-go subscription to the stations, similar to the Ecotricity scheme which costs £6 per charge.
Release dates & Price
First deliveries are set for ‘late 2017’ – and that’s as specific Tesla (or Elon Musk) will go for now. However, the huge pre-order list means many customers won’t get their new cars until 2018, especially if they order now. UK buyers may not even see their car until then either.
Official prices are still not confirmed, but Tesla has said the Model 3 will cost £30,000 to £35,000, with drivers having to pay extra for the likes of the dual motor, Supercharger access and Autopilot. Tesla are likely to go public with final prices when the car is completely uncovered in production form, with a “part two” event to happen at a currently unknown date.
Tesla will have to seriously step up its current production figures if the Model 3 is to be a success. Manufacturing jitters such as those that affected the releases of its other cars must be ironed out.
Production and success of the Model 3 is dependent on Tesla’s new gigafactory complex, which should be capable of manufacturing batteries for up to 500,000 electric cars. However, in the short term, Tesla believes it can make between 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3s next year.