Tesla Model 3 handed over to first customer

Tesla Model 3 handed over to first customer

Tesla Model 3 handed over to first customer

Tesla Inc. has finally made its long-promised affordable electric auto. However, you'll have to wait a while to get your new vehicle.

Tesla delivered the Model 3 small vehicle to its first 30 customers - all employees - at a company party Friday night. The auto has a range of 220 to 310 miles and has been created to "have the highest safety ratings in every category, " the company said. Fourteen-year-old Tesla has never made more than 100,000 cars in a year. Musk said more than 500,000 people have put down a $1,000 deposit for the vehicle. At $US44,000, the longer-range Model 3 isn't as affordable as the 220-mile base version, especially when factoring the additional costs of Tesla's Autopilot software. With that, he sent 30 Model 3 owners out into the world. Since its unveiling a year ago, the Model 3 has garnered over 500,000 pre-orders from prospective buyers worldwide. The Model 3 will be built with 10,000 unique parts, and its production rate will be dependent on both a global network of components suppliers and Tesla's own battery gigafactory keeping up the pace.

"Frankly, we're going to be in production hell", he told a crowd of Tesla employees. This will be the first time many Tesla workers will be able to afford a Tesla. Deliveries of the more expensive sedan will start first, with those of the base vehicle beginning in the fall. Yet one can not simply ignore the care which goes into the car's overall presentation - consisting of user experience, the interface, interiors, and the overall design. There is no need of keys to enter the vehicle. But the price can rapidly increase from there.

The Enhanced Autopilot suite of active-safety systems, adding lane-changing and self-parking, is $5,000, and future self-driving capabilities will be offered for $3,000 when ready. Once an automaker sells 200,000 electric cars in the USA, the credit phases out.

Production problems hampered the launches of Tesla's Model S sedan and the Model X sport utility vehicle and led to a decline in shipments on two occasions over the past year.

Japanese carmakers like Toyota Motor and Honda are also investing heavily in eco-friendly cars, but they are exploring hydrogen powered vehicles, in addition to electric cars powered by rechargeable batteries.

Ultimately, that S-curve is something Tesla is confident it can achieve, Musk said, but it's very hard to predict what shape it'll take, given factors, including "force majeure" risks from a supply chain that includes up to 30 percent of components coming from outside North America.

Half a million reservations have been made for the vehicle, the company says, up from about 373,000 disclosed in April 2016.

"The major challenge we faced with the Model 3 is not really the product", Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted in a pre-event briefing to press, qualifying that they nonetheless spent a lot of time getting design right.

Gingerich thought about getting a Model S, but found it too expensive and flashy for the charities she often works with.

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