Dual-motor Tesla Model 3 'Probably' Coming in July
It could happen, but then again, it may not. One thing’s for certain: buyers of the twin-motor Tesla Model 3 stand to wait less than those holding out for a base model.
In response to a Twitter user who asked when we can expect the all-wheel-drive variant of the massively hyped electric sedan (“My car has been sitting in the configuration for months waiting on it”), Tesla CEO Elon Musk replied with an approximate month. For this prediction to come true, Tesla must reach its second production target. It missed the first.
“We need to achieve 5k/week with Model 3 before adding complexity that would inhibit production ramp,” Musk tweeted. “So probably July.”
Actually, Tesla missed its first two Model 3 production targets — the first called for a production rate of 5,000 Model 3s per week by the end of 2017; the second, by end of the first quarter of 2018. Last week, the automaker reported that the week bridging March and April saw 2,020 Model 3s roll off the Fremont, California assembly line. The latest prediction was for 2,500/week by the end of Q1 2018.
For various reasons, including Musk’s claim of issues related to battery module assembly, the ramp-up of Model 3 production is taking longer than expected. Only pricier Long Range models have started production, with Musk previously telling reservation holders that the cheaper, $35,000 base models won’t see the assembly line until the end of 2018. His last prediction for dual-motor cars was mid-2018, so that goalpost hasn’t really changed.
Obviously, it makes more financial sense to get pricier variants into the driveways of buyers first, even if it means those who put $1,000 down on a base model when orders opened might have to wait close to two years to see production start. By then, the $7,500 federal tax credit will likely be halved.
Most reservations holders have no intention of buying the absolute cheapest base model once they’re invited to configure it online (options pile up fast), but that $35k sticker was awfully tempting. Given the level of devotion seen among the brand’s faithful, a mass exodus of reservation holders isn’t likely. Plus, rising production volumes, while still lower than expected, could help soothe budding frustrations. For some, anyway.
Cheat Sheet writer Eric Schaal isn’t among this group. Last week, he penned a column telling everyone exactly why he’s dumping his reservation.
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