There is a high interest in today’s society for a smarter, cheaper, and more electric vehicle. There have been countless electric car companies who have tried to break through the scene with their futuristic designs, however, none have quite succeeded as well as Tesla. This past year Tesla unveiled its new Model 3 vehicle at a launch party at their SpaceX headquarters, a sister company, which is expected to revolutionize the electric vehicle (EV) industry. With the Honda Accord and the Nissan Altima as the top-selling vehicles with 300,000 sales per year, the Model 3, during its début, has remarkably been able to sign up 276,000 in just two days!
Up until now the electric technology in motor vehicles was a niche in comparison to other major selling vehicles. This ‘niche’ was usually measured in the thousands, not hundreds of thousands. Tesla in a sense is doing what no other company has been able to do which is sell electric cars to big crowds. With a price tag of only $35,000, the Model 3 is extremely attractive to those seeking a newer, tech-friendly vehicle. Because of this frenzy and the shocking demand for the Model 3, it has encouraged the auto industry to shift dramatically towards marketing smart, electric vehicles to consumers. In a sense, this vehicle will determine whether Tesla will be the EV giant for a new era.
So what is so great about the Model 3?
- Can drive 215 miles on full charge (minimum expectations)
- 0-60 in less than 6 seconds
- 15in. touchscreen dashboard (no dials, or buttons), main interface is a simple steering wheel and a tablet mounted
- Dual motor, all-wheel drive
- Promises an all 5-star rating
- Autopilot hardware will be standard
- Tall side glass leaving plenty of headroom
- Giant panoramic rear glass that stretches over rear passenger’s head (single sheet of glass)
The hype surrounding the Model 3 is without a doubt turning heads across the globe, however, many are certain that Tesla may not be able to meet the demand. Although they already have over 300,000 separate deposits, production isn’t scheduled to commence until late next year (2017) according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “Supplying all those electric vehicle hopefuls with a reliable, high volume and profitable sedan will require a complete transformation of Tesla’s engineering, production and quality standards,” stated Karl Brauer, a senior analyst with Kelley Blue Book.
Tesla has a history of not being able to keep up with demand with its factory producing an average of 50,000 vehicles a year. The Model 3, on the other hand, is asking 300,000 within its first year! Along with the demand, there are countless other factors in play. Tesla has a limited dealer network which results in buyers being several hours, even states, away from a repair center. Also, the lithium-ion packs are coming from a new Reno-based Gigafactory that according to others is “barely functional” as of today. The model 3 is the car that will either keep Tesla as a front runner in EV production or kill the company and drive its consumers towards auto suppliers who can actually deliver. Only time will tell.