Saturday, April 16, 2016

Tesla Model 3

I don't hide the fact that I’m a fan of Tesla Motors and their founder Elon Musk. Back in June of 2012, I wrote in this blog about the introduction of the Tesla Model S. Since that time, I’ve seen the stylish Model S on the road from time to time. With it’s luxury car price tag and limited availability, though, these cars are still a bit rare. If you happen to own a Model S and would like to take me for a ride in it, I won’t argue at all.
Tesla Model 3

Announcing the Model 3

Now Tesla has announced a car that promises to be within reach of many more electric car enthusiasts – their new Model 3. When Tesla opened the books for pre-orders late last month, more than 325,000 interested buyers put down $1,000 each in just the first few days, meaning that Tesla collected $325M for a car that doesn’t yet exist. Not a bad start.

This new car from Tesla might be a direct competitor for the Chevy Bolt, with the Bolt shipping late in 2016 or early in 2017, and the Model 3 likely shipping later in 2017. A nice comparison is available from Motor Trend here.

Tesla Model 3 Features
The Model 3, which Tesla says “combines real world range, performance, safety and spaciousness into a premium sedan,” is the lowest priced car from Tesla yet, starting at $35,000. It will have a range of over 200 miles on a full charge. The graphic at left shows some of the features that Tesla emphasizes about their new Model 3.

According to that same Motor Trend article, “Tesla currently claims a best-case charge scenario of 170 miles of range within 30 minutes of Supercharging for Model S and Model X owners; it’ll likely be the same story for the Model 3.”

What would it take for you to seriously consider a Tesla? Is $35,000 to $40,000 a reasonable price for such a car? Does the range (170 miles on a fast charge, a little over 200 on a longer charge) work for your uses, or would you need more? Would charging stations need to be as numerous and distributed as gas stations are today? For electric cars to truly get a foothold in the auto market, these are some of the early questions that I think consumers will be asking themselves.

In other Tesla news

Tesla Model X
Earlier this month, Tesla announced a recall affecting a few thousand of their earliest Model X SUVs. Some of these cars, in very limited supply, appear to have a problem with a hinge that affects the third row of seats.

Tesla also recently announced some updates to its Model S. The new styling seems to echo some of the design choices made for the Model 3.

Tesla as a major force in the industry?

In my view, Tesla continues to innovate with interesting new cars and is having a positive impact on the auto industry. Perhaps my next car will be a Tesla.

Would you be interested in the Model 3 or one of the other models? Leave a comment and let us know.


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