Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Tesla announces a cheaper, midrange version of the Model 3

Tesla Model 3 Three phase power steering motor has built-in redundancy
Lindsey Cook | 20 October, 2018, 03:26

Bottom line: Tesla is inching closer to offering its promised $35,000 Model 3 but we're not quite there yet.

The release of a lower-priced Model 3 was a "logical next step", according to Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst.

The current Tesla auto line (Roadster, Model S, Model X) ranges in price from $68,000 - $138,800 before tax incentives for electric cars.

And while Tesla said last week that only cars ordered by October 15 would be guaranteed delivery before the end of 2018, when the available federal tax credit for their purchase drops from $7,500 to $3,750, the Model 3 ordering website says that deliveries of the mid-range versions are possible within six to 10 weeks, which would get some in before the deadline. Not huge losses overall - the 50-mile drop in range is the main tradeoff.

Priced from $45,000, the new variant uses the same battery as the Long-Range Model 3 but has fewer cells.

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The more affordable Tesla sports a 260-mile range, a 125 miles per hour top speed, and goes from 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds. Musk said that the long-range version with Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) costing $49,000 will be available to order as an off the menu item for a week. That incentive will be cut in half for the first six months of 2019, and then gets halved again for the following six months.

The world still awaits the $35,000 sedan promised by Tesla founder Elon Musk back in March 2016.

The mid-range model is one of three main versions of the Model 3 that the automaker is expected to eventually offer - short, mid and long; Tesla has favored offering the more expensive versions first for financial reasons. Tesla compiled a quarter million reservations within days, but has not been able to deliver on that sticker price.

Elon Musk took to Twitter (where else, right?) on Thursday evening to inform his followers of a new addition to the Model 3 lineup. (That is, of course, in addition to demand, which Tesla believes will be supported by widening availability of test drives.) As for production, the company is aiming for a rise from around 6,000 a week to 10,000. The reason? It was "causing too much confusion", Musk tweeted. It is not clear how numerous more than 400,000 reservations for the Model 3 are for the base models.

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