Tesla's "affordable electric car" now has a name and a price.
The Model 3, as it's now known, will cost approximately $35,000 and will come out in 2017, according to an Auto Express report based on an interview with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The magazine said the new vehicle will compete directly with BMW's 3-series, will depend heavily on the success of Tesla's well-known Gigafactory concept, and will be about 20% smaller than its Model S electric sedan.
Tesla confirmed the report on Twitter and said mockups of the vehicle shown in the article "were based on their [Auto Express's] own speculation."
The reports were consistent with Musk's past statements. In June 2013, he told Tesla shareholders: "We definitely need to be able to bring a lower-cost car to the market. Hopefully, in about three to four years, we will be able to do that.”
Click the Model X crossover below to check out the other cars in Tesla's fleet. (The company has not yet released photos of the Model 3.)
The Model X crossover will hit the road two years before the newly announced Model 3. It will use "Falcon wing" doors that open upward, but not outward. The design will let adults walk into the vehicle instead of crawling in. (Source: Tesla Motors)
$35K might sound like a lot of money right now but 3 years is still a long time and plenty of things could happen within that time. It is therefore almost inevitable that if any economic slides take place over the next 3 years, the manufacturers would have to revise this price either upwards or downwards. So in my opinion I believe that releasing the selling price of the car at this time may be a premature move.
The car comes out in 2017 so there is still ample time to start saving up for the car right now if this particular model seems to suit your desires. Personally I believe that if the savings on fuel and maybe the boost to the environment are the only advantages that it brings then the cost is too steep. That said, they can make up for that by including more features for which customers will be willing to pay more. Like the upward opening doors are a good start in that direction but they can still add more features to justify the price.
Ratsky, those are some interesting issues to be faced with EV's. I do think if the EV market takes off well enough, the protocols for handling the special needs of EV's will be factored in somehow. Some hard knocks along the way should be expected.
It sounds like most of those issues you describe are more related to the vehicle being a prototype. Hazards are still hazards, though. All that energy sitting in a battery has to be handled differently than a flammable sloshing liquid that sits quietly on its own at low temperatures.
Range is still a problem no matter how cheap the EV gets. That's the linchpin for all EV's. The physics isn't there yet. Gigafactories will push battery module cost down by the Henry Ford method if there's sufficient capital to do so at a meaningful level. But that's still no guarantee the whole EV problem will converge.
Infrastructure (EV gas stations) has to be expanded and in there lies an untold cost. More than just putting up charging stations, but how will the regional power grids have to adapt to getting more and more draws around the area? There's cost in that too.
Still, I like the $35K price tag better than the Model S price tag. That may bring more people to the door, but not necessarily to becoming owners. They still have to trust an EV enough to buy one. A car is an important part of a family's life. $35K is a big gamble for a lot of people.
Actually, both my employer and the auto manufacturer are among the largest and most profitble in our respective industries. This EV is the first for them, and development hasn't exactly been the smoothest! 'nuff said....
I happen to be in the automotive field and have several test vehicles to keep running. One is a prototype pure EV. I have neither the ability or the authority to perform certain maintenance tasks on this vehicle; I need to have those performed at a factory service area. Even local dealers for this brand can't deal with it as it is a prototype and not yet released (and the techs are not yet trained on it). Unfortunately, the best case fully-charged range for this vehicle is 80 miles, and the closest place that can fix a problem is 125+ miles away! Oh, it is not permissible to tow this vehicle either, as the act of placing on the flatbed (only approved type) could expose either the batteries to damage or the tow staff to electrocution by the HV battery.
Admittedly, this is a prototype; however, in the "real world" with a real production EV, an accident or mechanical failure could easily subject the owner to a similar situation.
A half century ago, cars were still built by people, not robots. Even on some of the country’s longest assembly lines, human workers installed windows, doors, hoods, engines, windshields, and batteries, with no robotic aid.
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