By on July 29, 2017

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

Perhaps the most anticipated automotive event of the year (Tesla disciples might say millenium) took place in California last night, as electric car guru Elon Musk handed over the first 30 production Tesla Model 3 sedans to customers — most, if not all, of them employees — at a glitzy, livestreamed event.

Eyesight was restored to the blind. Others rose from their wheelchairs, walking for the first time in years. Okay, that’s not true, but the depths to which some Tesla fans deify Musk and his car company cannot be understated. Certainly, after seeing the final production model, learning its specifications, and hearing Tesla’s lofty production plans, even a cynic drowning in a vast ocean of media-driven hype can’t help but feel impressed.

Hailed as the first affordable, long-range, mass-produced electric car — a crown stolen by the Chevrolet Bolt months ago — the Model 3 will retail for $35,000 before federal incentives, but not just yet. The only version available at launch is the $44,000 Long Range model, good for 310 miles of range per charge.

The 220-mile base sedan, which carries that vaunted lower sticker price, won’t be available until this fall. So, what can the roughly 500,000 reservation holders expect? If they’re on a budget, black had better be their favorite color.

That’s because any color other than Henry Ford’s shade du jour increases the price by $1,000. Silver, red, white and blue are optional. Indeed, there’s no limits to the ways in which a Tesla buyer can upgrade their Model 3 at extra cost.

The Enhanced Autopilot package costs an extra $5,000, with full autonomy capability requiring a further $3,000, even though the option (which Musk promises) isn’t yet a available. Power adjustable (heated) seats, premium audio, tinted roof glass, and other luxury appointments — many would call them “necessities” — are all bundled into another $5,000 package. Of course, you can also choose to upgrade the wheels to 19-inchers. All told, the Model 3 tops out at $59,500 with every option on board, which still places it below the lowest-rung Model S.

Tesla Model 3, Image: Tesla

Inside the Model 3’s spartan yet airy cabin (which you’ll access via a Bluetooth-enabled phone; no keys, thank you very much), you’ll find a distinct lack of instrumentation. A massive 15.4-inch touchscreen display dominates the center of the barely-there dash, from which owners will control practically all functions. It’ll tell you everything you need to know. Even the vents, if you can believe it, are positioned using this interface. The Long Range variants seen at the event carried wood trim, so not every traditional luxury trapping went by the wayside in the development of this vehicle.

Performance isn’t on par with the scorching Model S, but the Model 3 isn’t a slouch. Regular variants will scoot to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds, topping out at 130 mph. The Long Range model, with its larger battery, unlocks more juice for shenanigans. The uplevel Model 3 hits 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, boasting a 140 mph top speed.

For would-be owners who waited until this moment to drop $1,000 on a reservation, don’t expect a car anytime soon. If production goes according to plan, clearing out the half-million existing orders will take until late 2018 before a newly ordered Model 3 can take its place on the Fremont, California production line.

Now, about that production. At the event, Musk claimed his employees face “at least six months now of manufacturing hell” as the factory ramps up to a hoped-for 5,000 vehicles per week by the end of this year. Any delay in reaching that goal could see deliveries pushed back to 2019.

Musk claims all elements of the vehicle were designed with easy manufacturing in mind. For his sake, not to mention that of reservation holders, let’s hope the quality issues seen on the Model S and X don’t crop up in this so-called everyman’s car.

Another potential issue lies in the price. Tesla’s share of federal tax credits — good for a $7,500 reduction in retail price — are anticipated to dry up within months if the Trump administration doesn’t renew the program. If this comes to pass, lower-volume rival EVs like the Bolt, which doesn’t come with a year-and-a-half waiting period, would suddenly gain a significant advantage.

Still, given the number of fawning EV fanatics in Musk’s orbit — people who seem more than happy to ignore any and all electric cars missing a Tesla badge — finding buyers willing to shell out more for a Model 3 might not be a problem.

[Images: Tesla]

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155 Comments on “Tesla Model 3 Launches at $44K in Long Range Form; Cheaper Version to Follow...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    “Elon Musk handed over the first 30 production Tesla Model 3 sedans to customers — most, if not all, of them employees”

    so they *are* going to beta/prototype test these things. Just slyly pass it off as something else.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Not that long though, I have a day one reservation without previous ownership and it’s saying I can expect the loaded car October-December this year, so they’re only buying themselves 3-5 months of testing time. People who already own Teslas get priority over me so it’s probably more like 2-4 months of extra testing time with employees based on the dates I’ve seen.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    The claim that the car was designed to be easy to assemble seems to be true by looking at the photos. The dash to door details, as well as the door to center pillar details are clearly designed to be easy to build but look like GM from the late 80s…

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Elon without credits, regulatory mandates, subsidies, transfer payments, taxpayer handouts etc….

    THAT would be a miracle.

    This is just an electric car sold by Ron Popeil. Wish the Pocket Fisherman was subsidized.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “This is just an electric car sold by Ron Popeil.”

      You win the internet.

      What a perfectly expressed and accurate sentiment.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        The problem is you want a ‘level playing field’ for Tesla but not one for conventional car makers?

        Or you want a level playing field for everyone because you are a closet liberatarian but since the conventional industry is used to billions in corporate welfare anyway then you give that a blind eye.

        The way I see it, the conventional industry plays dirty, so everyone can play dirty, Tesla included.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          ….and as long as murderers exist, it’s OK for everyone to be a murderer, darnit!!

          • 0 avatar
            tooloud10

            No, that’s not the point at all. The point is that it’s disingenuous to call out Tesla for taking government funds when the rest of them are doing the same thing, and that the solution is to level the playing field by removing subsidies from all manufacturers.

            IOW, complaining about one murderer while there are dozens of others wandering about doesn’t make much sense.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            It is an article about Tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        “It slices, it dices, it juliennes…!

        “And if you act now, we’ll throw in an extra, PLUS a free set of steak knives; you just pay $99 down, $9.95/month for shipping!

        NOW how much would you pay???!!!”

        The Gentex company is obviously getting rich!! That gorpy-a$$ed, klown-looking, frameless electrochromic “smiley” mirror of theirs is getting into EVERYTHING!! That thing turns my stomach just looking at it! (Can’t be too pleasant with the reflection of following headlights glinting off the edge, either, as opposed to their normal-looking auto-dimmer with large black edges.)

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Clearly you don’t know much about Tesla and how they’ve already managed to adjust down pricing by more than the total federal tax credit. Just look at the latest Model S adjustments, they basically took 15 grand in options and put most of them into the standard vehicle and then left one options package. So people who were paying $95K for a loaded Model S can get one for $80K now before you look at the credits.

      Sure, it’ll be a little tougher on the lower end to absorb the full impact of the subsidies but they’ll likely do the same thing and just make a bunch of options standard. Much like the current $5000 premium package on the Model 3.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    “The only version available at launch is the $44,000 Long Range model, good for 310 miles of range per charge.”

    A range of 310 miles in a car is unremarkable in 2017, and shouldn’t warrant a “long range” designation. Yet another epic Elon Musk failure.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Yet another epic Elon Musk failure”

      Agreed. He’s having trouble selling the cars he already makes, and now he expects people to line up for this loser – sorta like Fiat.

      And those space rockets aren’t doing so well, either; a couple of them have actually blown up!

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      310 miles is 70 miles more than the Chevrolet Bolt. Also, the charging time for the Tesla on a 220-volt socket will probably be 10-12 hours, which makes full-charging overnight difficult. A 400-mile model would be cause additional complications. It would take several days of planning to fully charge overnights at home, unless you had access to a charger at work, or you felt like sitting at a Supercharger for a few hours……and then losing 10-25 miles of range driving home.

      • 0 avatar
        Asdf

        The Chevrolet Bolt is notorious for its short range, so not a good comparison. Both cars have ridiculously long charging times, though. They should have been able to fully recharge within max 5 minutes, anything more than that is a failure (and both models are indeed epic technological failures).

        • 0 avatar
          karmamule

          “The Chevrolet Bolt is notorious for its short range”.

          What?!? The Bolt has a range of 238 miles, and that is one of the main features it gets praised for. Are you maybe thinking of the Leaf or another EV?

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @TW5: I’m an EV owner and at most I’ll use 50 miles range before I’m at home or work and need to charge. My home and work chargers add about 30 miles of range per hour, so it doesn’t take long to get back to 100%. Usually, it’s back to 100% before I even notice. Just this morning, I took a 25 mile run into Boston. I charged at a parking meter with a charger, and when I got back to the car, it was at 100%. Drove 25 miles home and plugged it in. Not sure how long I’ve been home, but it hasn’t been long and the car is at 90% already. I have a 60 amp capable charger hooked plugged into a NEMA 14-50 socket, but the car is only capable of 30 amp charging.

        The 200-mile version of the 3 has a 30 amp charger and the 300-mile version is 40 amps. Tesla says the standard battery takes 50 minutes on the supercharger and the long range 55. Home charging for the standard battery takes 7.5 hours and the long range takes 8.5. Sounds doable for an overnight charge to me. For me and my 50 miles one way, I’d be charging for less than an hour and a half with the long range battery. If I skipped the charge at the halfway point, that’s still less than 3 hours (2.7 for 100 miles of range).

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @mcs

          Thanks for the info about charging.

          I’m not criticizing the Model 3 or EV’s generally. I’m just saying there are steeply diminishing marginal returns of extending range beyond 200-300 miles, and that’s why Tesla designed the Model 3 within these confines.

          As you point out, most people will never need the range, and the charging times start to exceed what is possible overnight, which complicates long trips, and the vehicle cost rises as battery capacity rises.

          The OP opined that the Model 3 range was a joke. It’s actually where it should be. More is a waste of time, money, and marginal utility.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        Charging time overnight only becomes a significant issue if you are exhausting the battery every single day, or only charging when battery is empty and expecting to need the full range the next day. Most people are not driving 300+ mi a day, they only need to charge what has been used (typically far less than 100 mi a day).

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          like I said, once the topic is EVs suddenly everyone in the world is a cross-country furniture deliveryman.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            Yup. TW5 must be wasting so much of his time and money starting his day by always going to the gas station and making sure his ICE car has a full “charge” with maximum range for what I am sure is his brutally long commute. Good thing this post is on a Saturday, if it was a weekday he would be too busy driving and wouldn’t have time to comment.

          • 0 avatar
            tnk479

            By the same token, once the topic is EV’s, suddenly everyone in the world is a slave who only ever drives to a job 30 miles or less away and never ever takes weekend trips to the countryside.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “By the same token, once the topic is EV’s, suddenly everyone in the world is a slave who only ever drives to a job 30 miles or less away and never ever takes weekend trips to the countryside.”

            yeah, no, nice try.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ whynot

            If some EV evangelists would use their ability to regulate their emotions and avoid taking a defensive posture unnecessarily, they would be happier and more sociologically functional when dealing with people outside of the hive.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            Forget range for a minute, just consider cold and snow. Then think about a nice warm V8.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            If you’re not driving 1000 miles a week, you’re un-american.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            “A nice, warm V8”? What do you do when it’s cold? Pop the hood, get out, and spoon with the engine?

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Sir,

            I cannot permit that comment to pass without rebuke. We do not judge people’s sexuality on this site. Harumph.

            Sincerely,
            – The Moral Peacock

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @TW5: Those are some of the most specious arguments I’ve read in a while; nearly every statement is pure opinion with no real data to back it up.

        How about doing a little research before spouting that stuff; those arguments, almost word for word, are at least four years old.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      Which EV can go 310 miles that isn’t a Tesla?

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Losing a smart phone makes for a bad enough day without also losing the ability to use your car.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Yeah, the whole “we cut costs by forcing the car to pair with your phone as the key” is an immediate turnoff.

      No more lending the car out casually. No more tossing the keys to the tow truck driver, should something bad happen and it needs towed. Etc, etc.

      Our whole world was built around a certain type of infrastructure, and this defies it and does not fit in well at all. This whole thing smacks of the MacBook Pro that my work just gave me, the 2017 model–not no useful ports whatsoever. I went from a mid-2012 model with optical drive, USB ports, ethernet port, and video out port to….nothing. Because Apple said so.

      And because Musk says so, suddenly the Tesla forums are filling up with all sorts of apologists who are claiming that the cell phone key is clearly the best solution, and anything else is by definition inferior.

      Years ago, Honda came out with the Touring version of the Odyssey and it featured special run-flat tires. The Odyssey forum was filled with people who wasted their money on that trim and got those tires and who couldn’t make excuses fast enough for how that was a superior solution because “what if my wife and two little kids found themselves with a flat–do you expect them to sit on the side of the road and wait for a tow truck? That’s neanderthal! It’s dangerous!!” Two years later Honda decided that the run-flats were a big mistake, and did away with them. And the apologists had to shut up.

      And so the world goes. No, this new Tesla model isn’t the be-all and end-all of cars. Fortunately, I don’t hang out in the Tesla forums to hear the nutcase apologists blather on.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        FYI, the Model three will also come with credit card style plastic NFC “keys” that can be used in place of a smartphone.

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          “FYI, the Model three will also come with credit card style plastic NFC “keys” that can be used in place of a smartphone.”

          So…I’m carrying a key no matter what, in addition to having my phone open the car.

          Why wouldn’t I just have a standard keyless entry/start key thingie in my pocket from the start?

          Oh–because Tesla wants to force costs onto the buyer, costs that previously were part of the car’s price. $36,000? Nope! We’re going to hit $35K or know the reason why–and that means getting rid of every physical component we can possibly get rid of, even if it means pushing that necessary cost to the user.

          This is the equivalent of the “broadcast television fee” on your cable bill.

          • 0 avatar
            TonyJZX

            Here’s the central conceit here.

            You argued that since there’s only an app, you need a smartphone and then had to argue a case that’s inconvenient since you need to give your phone to a friend or tow truck man.

            You dont strike me as person who’s happy to lend out their car!

            You are then told you get an NFC card.

            Ok now you have to argue that sticking a card in your wallet is some kind of huge burden.

            I’m sure if they gave you a standard wireless fob you’d find fault with that too!

            Look at this bitch Elon, eating crackers like she owns the place…

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        Wifey needs to learn how to change a tire, and not be so friggin’ helpless.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Yeah, I woulda been up shizzle-creek this week!

        Whilst in Port Clinton, OH at a beachfront condo, I decided to have a dip in Lake Erie. Forgetting that my iPhone was in my pocket until I had walked back inside!

        It was almost usable for ~40 minutes, enough to grab an iTunes backup, and it probably would have started a car.

        After leaving it at a local repair place for a dry-out and diagnosis, I would have been walking!

        Then, how would I have gotten home to the Toledo area, then to the nearest Apple Genius Bar for official declaration of death and replacement?

        (No shore-power @ these condos, either! Now, perhaps I could have made the round-trip, as I put ~150 miles on my car. But how much charge is lost just sitting for a few days at a time?)

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          It comes with a card as a backup if your phone dies.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            So you’re carrying this card around.

            If you’re carrying the card around, then why not have a standard keyless entry/start piece to carry around, like exists for every car?

            Musk “solved” a “problem” that doesn’t exist.

          • 0 avatar

            @jalop1991 Your arguments are verging on ridiculous and are, at the very least, hypocritical.

            You argue that people come up with ridiculous reasons to be in favor of things when you do exactly the same in reverse.

            Look, I have *regularly* found standard keyfobs to be overly bulky and largely unnecessary. If they have keyless go, I rarely push the buttons and they just generally don’t do much except sit in a pocket being large, heavy, and annoying.

            A credit-card sized NFC card that sits in my wallet alongside my various membership cards in the event that my phone doesn’t work sounds pretty ideal. One less thing to carry with minimal cost in bulk to my wallet, since I will always need to carry my wallet and my phone anyway.

            Pretty simple. I’m not sure why you are having difficulty with this.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Was this news, or an editorial?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      if you insist that everything you read about Tesla be an Elon love-fest, I’m sure you’ll find Electrek to suit your needs.

      • 0 avatar
        tnk479

        Or Elon’s personal ball washers at insideevs.com. Every other article is about Tesla or heaping endless praise upon Saint Elon and everything in his orbit, including that shady and bankrupt business that he bailed his family out of, Solar City. Elon Musk is smart and talented but it is also true that he is uniquely positioned to exploit the modern era of tech hype and crony capitalism.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I have no quarrel with the man himself. Unlike almost every other fly-by-night EV startup, he’s personally invested his own money, time, and work into his ventures instead of being propped up by some nebulous “Chinese billionaire.”

          I just can’t stand the people who have taken it upon themselves to be (as you say) his personal ball washers. it’s one thing to be enthusiastic about Tesla and SpaceX (and make no mistake, I’m incredibly impressed with how fast SpaceX has moved) but it’s another thing entirely to pompously strut around and gloat as if you had anything to do with their success.

          • 0 avatar
            tnk479

            I agree and it’s the same unflattering behavior I see idiots engage in when speaking about professional sports. People need to get lives.

            I am in no way against electric vehicles, but, the hero worship of a guy that takes laptop batteries, bolts it to the undercarriage of a car, and manages to lose billions of dollars in the pursuit of saving the planet from higher concentrations of a harmless gas that plants thrive in is just too much bullsh1t piled on top of bullsh1t for me.

          • 0 avatar
            statikboy

            “it’s another thing entirely to pompously strut around and gloat as if you had anything to do with their success”

            The same can be said for sports fans. Or any number of other support groups.

            A “person” is an individual, but “people” like to be part of a community, no matter how loosely knit. Communities share their successes. Tesla will share the intangibles of their success, but since corporations are not real communities, they will hold any actual countable success close.

          • 0 avatar
            dantes_inferno

            >A “person” is an individual, but “people” like to be part of a community, no matter how loosely knit.

            Or to put it another way:

            “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it…”

            – Agent K, MIB

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            At Jim.

            As they say, you hit the nail on the head perfectly.

            I’m happy for his success, job creation, ambition and achievement. I wish him the best and I hope Tesla adds to the strength of the American auto industry.

            The only business idea I have for Musk is to develop a “Tesla System” to pretty much drop in the place of an ICE powertrain. Differnet sizes and strengths for different applications.

            This would essentially convert customer’s cars into Tesla products. Imagine an old MG with a high torque motor and about half the 0-60 time it had when new/stock, with more reliability to boot.

    • 0 avatar
      70Cougar

      People who try to do new things are so stupid. Also, what an a#$ hole, using expensive options and option packages to make money selling cars. Who would do that?

      • 0 avatar
        dantes_inferno

        >People who try to do new things are so stupid

        No. People who try to do new things while volunteering to become early-adopting beta-testers for the automobile industry is where the stupidity lies.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I was referring to the journalistic style of the article.

      Most TTAC stories contain some editorial license, but the Tesla articles are the only ones that actually insult the people who buy the product. I’d prefer that task fall to the B&B.

      • 0 avatar

        There seems to be so much unquestioning positivitey about Tesla and Musk from both green and mainstream media that TTAC traditional (but not always) role as a outsider may be best served with questioning and maybe some snark.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      I have more faith in Elon Musk as a job creator than that Trump fella.

      I’d also much rather drink a beer with Elon as well.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        I’m with you there!

        By the way, if you ever do have a beer with Elon, ask him what the $&@#! he was thinking when he re-married the woman who took him for so many millions!

  • avatar
    stingray65

    That big screen in the middle of the dash looks perfect for watching movies or surfing the net while autopilot drives your new model 3 into the side of a truck or traffic construction barrel – assuming you have paid the extra $8,000 for the privilege.

    • 0 avatar
      tnk479

      Any payment for a not yet developed feature should be in escrow and returned to the customer if the feature is not delivered by a agreed upon date. This is essentially a free loan to Tesla, a large Wall Street backed corporation worth something like 55 Billion USD as I post this comment.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “That big screen in the middle of the dash looks perfect for watching movies or surfing the net while autopilot drives your new model 3 into the side of a truck or traffic construction barrel – assuming you have paid the extra $8,000 for the privilege.”

      We’ll just call it the Darwin package.

  • avatar
    dmoan

    In Boston area it is flood of Porsche, Land Rovers and BMW now I am starting to see Tesla’s left and right. Amazed at how much $$ people have to jump to latest lux vehicle…

  • avatar
    TW5

    The electric car segment is not going to die, if the Trump administration refuses to expand the Obama regulations. The CAFE incentives are still too strong, and most manufacturers will need electric cars and fullsize hybrid pickups to keep their fleet alive, especially manufacturers that want to keep BoF SUVs and offroaders.

    Demand subsidies benefit the suppliers most, which is counter-intuitive, but a fact of life in an oligopoly. Even if you weren’t sure of the economics, just look at the PR and marketing behind the expansion advocates. They aren’t calling it an expansion, which it is, they are pretending the Trump administration is failing to renew a program. They aren’t. The program is designed to transfer $1.5B from the taxpayers to each manufacturer who hits the 200,000 target. There are additional phaseout credits available, but they are time based IIRC so the exact dollar figure is unknown. Anyway, that’s about $20B of taxpayer money that basically goes directly into corporate coffers, especially when the competition in the EV segment is meager compared to the market as a whole. If they want more, it’s an expansion.

    Anyway, we can’t give them a bunch of CAFE credit multipliers and billions in taxpayer money and so forth. We’ve either got to pare back CAFE incentives, which will cause eco-riots or just let the program die, and then remind everyone Obama and the 111th created it.

    If some sort of EV subsidies exist after the current program funds are used, the subsidies should exist as producer/supplier subsidies. Pay the manufacturers to sell EVs. The prices will come down sharply, especially if the subsidy is designed to stimulate competition, rather than giving each manufacturer a special set aside of $1.5B, which lets them be as lazy and late to the game as they want.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Please keep posting on this site for the rest of your life, TW5.

    • 0 avatar
      trackratmk1

      Just to clarify:

      “The program is designed to transfer $1.5B from the taxpayers to each manufacturer who hits the 200,000 target.”

      200,000 target represents what exactly?

      • 0 avatar
        trackratmk1

        Answer found. 200k is the number of units eligible for $7500 tax credit for each manufacturer, and that credit’s expiration occurs at that time.

        Do you have a link about the $1.5B handout that occurs at that time?

        • 0 avatar
          tnk479

          Mostly right. The credit reduces by half for two more fiscal quarters. I don’t know all of the specifics but I know there is some quick phase out in the program. None of the details matter to me. Tax payers should not be financing luxury toys for the upper middle class and wealthy. This is absolutely crony capitalism. Are there some environmental benefits? Sure, but, that isn’t relevant. There are many ways to use tax dollars to equitably improve the environment that do not involve buying the wealthy luxury sports sedans.

          • 0 avatar
            tnk479

            And before anyone writes that oil companies get subsidies, let me stop you right there. Yes, there is an absurd capitalization tax laws from a hundred years ago that helps oil & gas but the answer to that is to repeal that bad law, not to create *more* crony capitalism through new tax breaks for the electric car markets. Also, the pubic has done much to contribute to the reliable electric grid in this country, which Tesla is entirely dependent upon and could not exist without. After all, how much of Tesla’s electric car empire is powered by solar energy right now? I rest my case.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @tnk479

            And before anyone writes that oil companies get subsidies, let me stop you right there. Yes, there is an absurd capitalization tax laws from a hundred years ago that helps oil & gas but the answer to that is to repeal that bad law, not to create *more* crony capitalism through new tax breaks for the electric car markets. Also, the pubic has done much to contribute to the reliable electric grid in this country, which Tesla is entirely dependent upon and could not exist without. After all, how much of Tesla’s electric car empire is powered by solar energy right now? I rest my case.”

            ICE cars cannot get fuel without the road and electrical systems paid for by the public.

            You can’t imply there is something hypocritical about elctric cars just because we are in the early days of a conversion to renewable energy.

            Didja’ know solar is about to become cheaper than coal generation? Do you know about Georgetown Texas, that just went 100% renewables – to save money. You’re hanging out with the wrong crowd if you want to get up to speed.

          • 0 avatar
            tekdemon

            Literally only the upper middle class and the wealthy actually pay enough taxes to cover their own share of what everyone owes, so why are you complaining that they get the tax credit exactly? If you don’t make enough to actually benefit from the tax credit it means you’re also not making enough to cover your own share of public expenses. If you’re out there having five kids in school while making $40K a year everyone else is subsidizing your kids schooling to the tune of $15K+ a year but it’s perfectly ok to mooch off the system that way? God forbid if someone who pays $150K a year in taxes gets $7500 back to help spur new technologies. Who’s the real leech on society?

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @trackratmk1

          The $1.5B amount represents $7,500 x 200,000 units. It’s the maximum pre-phaseout cumulative credit. Since competition in the EV segment is relatively modest, competent corporations can easily transfer most of the credit’s economic benefit into the corporate coffers. That’s why they have crafted a PR campaign urging Congress and the White House to “renew” (expand, actually) the current program.

          Really, the situation is somewhat worse than that for consumers because the credit is non-refundable. If you make $100K and you’ve got two kids, some student loan interest, and you itemize, you probably don’t pay $7,500 in federal income tax. You might only get a refund of $6,000.

          So taxpayers are goaded into paying an artificially high MSRP based on the $7,500 credit, but you might not even receive the full credit.

          The general point is that the mechanics of the program are quite awful, and expanding the program is not optimal.

          • 0 avatar
            tnk479

            @TW5

            I totally agree but I think we can reliably estimate that most of the tax payers buying Model S and Model X luxury vehicles are getting the full benefit of the 7500$ federal tax credit in addition to any available state tax rebates. Your example seems far more likely to occur with customers of the Model 3.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            Yes, Model S and Model X drivers will probably get most of the credit, though a few may hit AMT problems. Nothing is as simple as it seems in tax.

            Since Tesla has 500,000 reservations for Model 3’s, these are the buyers who will be most effected by the peculiarities of the credit and the tax code and the phase out. The author was aware, and that’s why the credit phaseouts were mentioned in the last paragraph.

          • 0 avatar
            tnk479

            For some odd reason there is no “reply” button to some comments so I am getting this as close as possible.

            @brandloyalty, cite your sources that show that solar is cheaper at scale to provide 24-7-365 grid electricity more cheaply than hydrocarbon energy. If that isn’t what you are saying, then what is the context of your comment about saying some small town in Georgia “went 100% renewables – to save money”?

            On a larger scale, countries such as Denmark and Germany have invested heavily in renewable energy and their electricity costs four times more according to the Energy Information Administration, data which directly refutes your claim. Every claim I have seen where renewables are somehow cheaper always depend upon subsidies, the ability to sell power on the spot market to neighbors (aka, the larger surrounding hydrocarbon grid acting like a battery), or the claim was temporal and temporary in nature (aka, for one very windy/sunny day/week where conditions were favorable).

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Yes, true. Look what happened in Germany, Spain, California. Why are countries like China, India etc building over 1,500 new coal plants over the next several years? They can do the math.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @thelaine:
            Yes, true. Look what happened in Germany, Spain, California. Why are countries like China, India etc building over 1,500 new coal plants over the next several years? They can do the math.”

            Your claim is fair but is not the full picture.

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/22/coal-power-plants-green-energy-china-india

            You can’t say that because the effect of a trend is not 100% in effect yet, the trend is insignificant or worthy of dismissal.

            If you had the choice of investing $1000 tomorrow in a 10-year investment with the choice only coal and solar, where would you put the money?

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @tnk475

            Ttac’s reply function is not very good at creating discussion “branching”.

            You may be able to find plenty of circumstances where thermal generation is cheaper than renewables now, but denying the trend to renewables is becoming very difficult. And that is for the overt costs. Where thermal energy is cheaper, it’s only because the full costs of using it have been pushed into the future. As we become aware of these costs the trend can only speed up. “Awareness” varies considerably, and I believe Europeans are far more aware of these issues than the average American. This discussion stands as evidence.

            All you have to do is an internet search for “solar cheaper than coal”.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            China is pulling back on coal. So far this is in terms of tackling local pollution. And they are enthusiastically building coal generation elsewhere.

            However the Chinese will quickly figure out that global warming is global, and will then apply their substantial and growing expertise in solar and wind to those markets. The US could have those markets, but has its head in the tarsands.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    I have a dumb flip phone; looks like I’m not worthy of a Model 3!

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      Hipsters who have dumb flip phones are driving steampunk cars anyway, right?

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        I think the traditional hipster choice of motorized transportation is an early sixties Ford Falcon.

        Non-motorized? One of those ‘fixie’ bicycles with a fixed rear hub that won’t free-wheel (no need for any brakes on those).

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          Which defeats the most enjoyable part of cycling: coasting downhill.

          Yeah, these hipsters are real smart. Just the same, I hope the fad doesn’t die anytime soon. I can make double the money taking an old 10-speed and turning it into a fixed gear than I can by just restoring the bike to original specifications.

    • 0 avatar
      bking12762

      Luddites unite!

  • avatar
    Joss

    I wonder if we’re looking at another Citroen DS? I think EV’s are a step in the right direction. All the owner blogs I’ve read say they’d never go back to a combustion. They say after you’ve gotten used to an electric a combustion feels rickety. Range anxiety disappears with knowledge and use. For an EV to really work out the owner must have a home charging station. I’d be tempted but that’s my issue living in a highrise with no facility. I find the low-maintenance appealing and promising. One vehicle only for retirement.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @Joss: what you need is the new 350 to 400 kW charging systems that are now being deployed and a car that can take advantage of one. Probably won’t see them until 2020, but it’ll make charging more like putting gas in a car.

      I have gas cars and an EV. The remaining gas cars are going to go. Even if I have to recharge the EV halfway to my destination, I’ll take it over the gas cars. If the trip is further than 200 miles I just fly.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Flying is so green! That’s why Leonardo and Barrack each take their own planes everywhere they go!

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        ” If the trip is further than 200 miles I just fly.”

        200 miles doesn’t even get me across the state of Michigan. I cannot fathom putting up with the utter unpleasantness of air travel just to go from Detroit to Muskegon. Not to mention paying the plane fare.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          And for a 200mi trip the actual time between the actual starting and ending points will probably be just as long by air as by car.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            “And for a 200mi trip the actual time between the actual starting and ending points will probably be just as long by air as by car.”

            I’ll go 9 hours by car, and many times be faster than the plane, door to door.

            And not once will I be stuck sitting in an airport overnight or taking two full days to get home because the airline couldn’t figure out how to get me from Cleveland to Chicago without routing me through Miami and Houston.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        And then, of course, you will fly from and to airport… no, you will bike.

  • avatar
    scott25

    One important detail left out is that there’s a NFC card you can wave or tap on the B-pillar to unlock the car if you don’t have your phone or if its battery is dead. If the car’s battery is dead I guess you’re just out of luck.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      If the car’s battery is dead, access to the car is sort of irrelevant, don’t you think?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No because you could want to get something out of it before the brick was towed away.

        Seems to me there would be a bigger problem if you drained the batter so low it wouldn’t unlock the door as it probably wouldn’t have the power to open the charging port, nor to release the parking brake.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    So really, no tach/speedo in front of the driver?? That just seems really absurd – this is an appliance, not a driver’s car.. Time to cancel my reservation..

    • 0 avatar
      tnk479

      Customers might not care if it was fully automated but it isn’t. You have to pay for 8k in options for the hope that it is someday fully automated. No mention is made of when that day might be. Until then, it looks to me like a car with garbage ergonomics.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The drivetrain uses a fixed reduction gear, so it doesn’t need a tach. If people really need a speed indicator in front of them, Tesla could add a HUD pod or something.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      What the tachometer measure in a car that has only one forward gear?

      I agree with having the speedo right in front of the driver, however. A nice panel of useful analog gauges would be sweet.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    With Tesla, Elon Musk, your Technocrat, The Great Upset-er, can already claim to be the only new car manufacturer in nearly 60 years to make a meaningful dent in the industry. Their EV sales dominance is exceeded only by their EV performance dominance.

    To deride Tesla is to denounce EVs. To denounce EVs….well I don’t know how to save you….

    Tesla isn’t a clumsy, fruitless endeavor…it isn’t a sure-thing, but then what is…it is however a good financial and emotional investment in American innovation and manufacturing.

    Since we’ve acquired this incredible freedom of choosing where we get our news and information, and as a result what we believe….the wise have tended to get wiser and the deluded drift further and further into denial and delusion. The Dawning of a New Age is the perfect time to make the switch…

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      It’s the government’s job to make the many pay for the whimsies of the few!

      • 0 avatar
        No Nickname Required

        Whoa whoa hold on a minute! The transfer of wealth must be strictly voluntary. No government has the authority to force me to pay for someone else’s personal luxury car, etc. Call it like it is: THEFT!

      • 0 avatar
        No Nickname Required

        Whoa hold on a minute! The transfer of wealth must be strictly voluntary. No government has the authority to force me to pay for someone else’s personal luxury car, etc. It’s THEFT I tell you!

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Looks okay but I prefer a 2011 Buick Wildcat!

  • avatar
    conundrum

    That interior. The new look of Premium Economy, which is austere, like white goods under fluorescents at an economy appliance outlet. Stark. Not a shred of flair or charm, nothing that says Welcome. Just a padded cell and a cheerless steering wheel. Oh joy, optimism has been designed out. Welcome to the groupthink of today, a mobile phonemobile.

    There used to be ’63 Thunderbirds, as per the previous blog post. Bursting with life and genuine simulated wire wheels. Fun.

    55 years later there appears this sad sack, this Tesla model 3. And it looks like no fun at all, so parsimonious the front is recognizable by its lack of ornamentation rather than because of it.

    We’ve arrived at the dawn of reduced expectations.

    • 0 avatar

      This is a Soycar for Soyboys and Soygals.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      @conundrum
      True that the old cars have a depth of car style. But there have been profound changes since then.

      The US car industry, other than pickups, has to follow the rest of the world rather than leading or being isolated.

      Efficiency and cleanliness is more important now. We do not regret the passing of fancy chamberpots since we no longer need them to dump night soils in the street.

      People have vastly more things to do with their time now than loving cars.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Those who heap criticism on the Tesla are like those who call the Miata a chick car – they have never driven the object of their derision.
      He who knows the least thinks he knows the most; the truly wise man understands how very little he actually knows.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Very true. Part of being stupid is thinking that one is smarter than everyone else; and regarding any area of disagreement with anyone else, no matter how smart the other person might be, as proof that the other person is stupid.

        At the same time truly smart people are the first to realize how little they know. That is part of being smart.

        A current example is simpletons tweeting derision of elites, experts and the educated. Who do they think invented the software, computers and internet they are using to express their bile? Cows?

        (Actually I scorn the Miata as an “urban kayak”:-))

        • 0 avatar
          tnk479

          Those elites you are defending don’t give a rats ass about the environment. When it comes to waging optional wars to send a message to subjugated dictators around the world, building tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, dumping toxic waste and so forth, the elites only care about one thing: power. Acting like a good little peasant cuck driving around in a Prius or some little 200 mile robocar built by Elon Musk and his power elite Wall Street backers won’t make a damn bit of difference to the global environment in comparison to the ongoing insanity perpetuated by the elite that run the world.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Amazing to me the amount of Tesla hype and they haven’t yet hit the 200,000 unit cumulative sales phaseout level for the fed tax credit.

    That’s about how many pickups Ford sells each quarter.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Ford also has the virtue of thousands in profit for each pickup sale instead of thousands of dollars in loss.

      But I know, these days actual profits are passé and it’s all about deluded projections of growth!

      • 0 avatar
        tylanner

        Said the old Ford CEO and the Ford CEO before him.

        Upon firing the old CEO, May 2017:
        “This is a time of unprecedented change,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s chairman and great grandson of the company’s founder. “If you look at the technology coming into our industry, the competitors coming into our industry…we really need transformational leadership.”

        Psssstttt….he’s talking about Tesla…..

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I wonder if Elon saved some capital bucks by purchasing the body dies from the first gen Olds Aurora?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    The biggest flaw of electric cars is lacking of manual gear box option. In fact, these are just pods, not cars. “Where is your pod taking you today?”

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Standing ovation for Tesla and Musk. This is the electric Caddy needed instead of Bolt being sold at Chevy dealer next to Cruze and Sonics for credit challenged customers. Electrics are not for me, but for those so inclined this is a revolution. IF I were BMW 3 series or Audi A4 I be scared, very very scared. AND made and engineered in America while rest of the world just plays lip service. Bravo.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    What a bland, boring, tasteless, generic design, with a ridiculously cheap-looking interior for a $12,000 Kia Accent, let alone a “Tesla.”

    Musk is not an entrepreneur, but a cult leader.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Nice job Tesla, you’ve revived the Coda and gave it a Toyota Echo worthy interior, and you’ve duped people into think this is going to be the next best thing.

    I’m curious, will the pedals be metal or plastic akin to videogame pedals? How many features will be “locked” for Teslas idea of DLC?

    On one hand the guage-less view is refreshing, on the other hand I’d prefer a wonky gauge or two vs debugging a computer in the middle of traffic.

  • avatar

    I would buy this car if it come with stick and three pedals. And where all instrumentation is gone? I do not care about speedometer but tachometer is a must for me. FAIL Elon!

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    I’m not super comfortable with the idea of these things going autonomous with a software download. The eggheads all say that Tesla’s autonomous sensor solutions don’t have the range or the resolution to safely operate.

    And they’re trying to use objectively worse sensors without the high-rez maps everyone else is planning on using?

    Whew.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      That’s fine. I’m not happy with any automation and really, you say $8,000 by not optiing for it.

      Win win I say.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      While I wouldn’t trust Tesla’s autopilot to go 100% autonomous, I’d love to have it for stop and go heavy traffic. I’m a critic of current technology for autonomous driving when manufacturers think they’re close to unmanned capability, but I think it’s great for crawling along at 15 mph in bad traffic. It’s a feature I want.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        Hmmm… the way I see it is that I’m not willing to go all the way to Mars just because Elon says its fine.

        I’m willing to accept a 220 mile PHEV because I’m never going to do 310 miles in one stretch and even if I am, I’d rather use a gasoline car…

        I’m also not willing to accept autonomous driving or falcon doors or anything over the top.

        Small steps.

        There’s also a conceit above from many who expect a Tesla to be completely 100% green and not take any federal funds and do 310 miles and cost $25k and be a brown wagon and seat 7 and be able to haul a ton and tow and drive itself with a 100% safety record…

        And yet they dont hold conventional manufacturers to any particular standards… strange that people who want a level playing field are happy for conventional industry to stack the deck.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    “the depths to which some Tesla fans deify Musk and his car company cannot be understated.”

    “Still, given the number of fawning EV fanatics in Musk’s orbit …. finding buyers willing to shell out more for a Model 3 might not be a problem.”

    I don’t recall this sort of language being used in a recent article about gearheads shelling out more than MSRP for a new musclecar.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @brandloyalty: People can’t seem to get it through their heads that there’s more to EVs than the green benefits. One reviewer was even comparing the handling of the 3 to the Quadrofoglio and said the Guilia felt like a wet sponge after driving the 3. The smoothness, quiet, and torque are absolutely wonderful. Instead of the car, everyone gets wrapped up in all of the politics. A lot of people on this site seem to care more about politics than cars.

      The EV hate also seems to be driven by fear of change. I could see some of these same people complaining about the difficulty of finding gasoline when they can easily let their horse graze on the side of a road. Just give a horse food and water and it can go forever. You don’t have to find no danged fillin station to keep it going. What if yer in the middle of the prairie and the dang thing needs gasoline – where ya gonna find it. Sure horses crap in the street, but it’s good fertilizer and ya just need to be careful where ya step. Dang fools complainin about a little horse poop in the street.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Absolutely. It is no surprise that as ttac became better known the more conservative end of car culture migrated here and degraded the level of discussion. Often because their participation in other sites reduced those discussions to toxic sh– shows.

        Those people are into turf fights. Despite how utterly absurd a notion, they regard cars and therefore car websites as thier turf. They attack and try to drive away anyone with any progressive notions. They broaden this to any subject matter arising. So every time Teslas or electric cars come up, all the associated issues such as global warming come up for their compulsive emotional attacks.

        At the same time they don’t notice that the progressives have better manners than to intrude on every musclecar discussion with insults and false claims about performance cars and the people who own them.

        They have preposterous beliefs such as everyone involved with cars in any way except Musk and his employees, are the same as them. They must be, right, because they are into cars and people into cars must be rednecks.

        Their comments are generally constrained by the site rules, but their outlook remains obvious as they craftily stay just inside those rules. Personal attacks are thier main tactic and often the only thing they understand.

        They are not going to smarten up. It’s up to the progressive participants to fight back and prevent domination of the discussion by the turf fighters.

        It is also in the best interests of the site owners as there are far more people interested in all aspects of cars than the narrow perspective of the worst aggressive gearheads.

        Tomato shields up!

        • 0 avatar
          jalop1991

          “They attack and try to drive away anyone with any progressive notions.”

          To many people, “discussing/exposing facts that are inconvenient to my point of view” equals “attack”.

          It’s how you word things that frames your point of view. “He attacked me!” Well, perhaps not–he said some things you didn’t like, facts that countered your discussion, but that’s not an “attack”.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “At the same time they don’t notice that the progressives have better manners than to intrude on every musclecar discussion with insults and false claims about performance cars and the people who own them.”

          oh, BS. I’ve been around plenty of sites where they’ve posted a review of some car or truck, and the “progressives” post comments simply to sneer “Oh, it still runs on gas? not interested.”

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    One guys two cents…

    I love that this car exists, I like the Bolt better though. The debate over the range is a non-starter to me. My first question is how many Tesla owners have a 1 car family? These are luxury goods for sure, but are helping to move the technology in the right direction.

    As for me, as a die hard gear head it will be a long time before I only have 1 car. I stipulate that I will go from a collection to none in a very short order as when the time comes for only needing one, the end will be near. Moving on.
    I wold love to have an EV in my fleet for running around in, commuting with some sort of auto pilot in b to b traffic would be great. What is also great, is a Suburban for those 500 mile highway trips and its 32 gallon tank that takes 7 minutes to refill.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Asdf writes: “They should have been able to fully recharge within max 5 minutes, anything more than that is a failure”

    Apparently middle school math and physics flew right past you.

    If the LR battery takes 8.5 hours to charge on a 240V/40A circuit (which we’ll assume for the purposes of this to be fully utilized), that’s electric power delivered at a rate of 9.6 KW. To do the same thing in 5 minutes would require 102 times that, or 8.3 MW. In car terms that’s in excess of 11 thousand horsepower.

    Not only is this an unrealistic rate of power delivery, but it’s way more than the car’s batteries could possibly accept, or cables smaller than your forearm could handle.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Asdf posts that drivel in every thread about EVs. it’s just trolling at this point.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      It’s asdf’s way of saying that an electric car will never, ever, ever be good enough for his ownership.

      And, if for the sake of argument, they get said recharging time down to five minutes, his standard will immediately change to two minutes, thirty seconds.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    A friend of mine used to drive a 911. An air-cooled one. He has a Tesla Model S. Yes, we went “ludicrous” on 395 very early in the morning. The Tesla experience starts with going to the showroom. I asked my friend about maintenance; he’s married, 2 kids, working on a 2nd master degree at night, he laughed and said it’s so easy. Or no service writer saying your muffler bearings need replaced. The Volt/Bolt means going to a Chevy dealership. Many people would rather swim open mouthed in raw sewage than go to a Chevy dealership. Insert sleazy dealership story here. How often does someone drive more than 300 miles in a day? Not that often I bet. For long-range trips rental car companies do exist. I’ve paid for carport parking at my apartment building and paid for a reserved parking spot at my apartment building. My current apartment complex is gated. I’m sure my landlords would put up reserved parking spaced with chargers. For a fee of course. What I don’t understand is why one of the Truckstop chains don’t install timed chargers and charge for them. Park, plug in, set the timer, and pay. Oh, I forgot; many on here don’t pee/eat/drink coffee on their over 300 mile drives. Now a SteakNShake with chargers would be grand.

    • 0 avatar

      I think Sheetz gas stations are all installing chargers.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Oh, I forgot; many on here don’t pee/eat/drink coffee on their over 300 mile drives.”

      I spent many years making a 400 mile one-way trip for business. After spending the week there I could get out of there at 6pm on Friday, hop into my car, and pull into home as the clock struck midnight. No stopping, no need to stop.

      More importantly, no desire to stop.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    I’m looking forward to see how the Jaguar I Pace stacks up against the Model X. From what I’ve seen of it so far the interior is far better resolved on the Jaguar and I suspect it will have better build quality given what we’ve heard so far about Tesla. Weirdly Jaguar may be Tesla’s first real competitor.

    One thIng I really dislike about Tesla’s is the IPad screen. Why can’t they do a dashboard more like the new Velar?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So this played out as many of us predicted.

    The $35K Model 3 exists in marketing material, will come later, will almost certainly be available for a short period of time, and then discontinued due to, “a lack of interest.”

    The real base price is north of $40K, and some of the items eliminated off of the “base” Tesla are outright puzzling.

    As for those thinking, “no they won’t,” this exact pattern played out with the S and the X.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Sorry the more I look at this cars interior the more i dislike it. All the controls and displays are basically shown on the giant IPad screen. That’s not safe. How can a driver safely monitor speed, change radio station and keep their eyes on the road and the sat nav all at the same time? Elon if you want to see this done right look through the Range Rover Velar, multiple screens controling multiple functions.

    Once the premium car makers get started Tesla will be finished…

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “Once the premium car makers get started Tesla will be finished…”

      People have been saying this since the Model S came out in 2012. Problem is, the other car makers make more money on their ICE cars, they don’t have a source for large battery volume, and they don’t have a nationwide charging network.

      Their only incentive to compete against Tesla is government regulation forcing them into it.


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