First Tesla Model 3 rolls off production line … into the hands of Elon Musk

The first of Tesla’s highly anticipated lower-cost electric cars, the Model 3, has rolled off the production line to its new owner, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk.

The one-man marketing machine, who also took on a large, high-profile battery project in Australia and a runs a privateer space company Space X, shared a couple of photos of the Model 3.

Elon Musk

First Production Model 3

July 9, 2017

The Model 3 will cost $35,000 in the US, less than half the cost of its Model S saloon car, and can travel 215 miles on a single electric charge, but will be available for as little as $27,500 with a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles.

Elon Musk

July 9, 2017

The design matches that of a pre-production car that was on display in front of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada in July last year.

A prototype of the Tesla Model 3 from 2016. Photograph: James Glover/Reuters

Tesla will hold a party to hand over the first 30 Model 3s to US customers on 28 July, much like it has done for launches of the Model S and Model X in the past, including the launch of the Model S in London in June 2014.

Photos of the Model 3 in red and silver. Photograph: Handout Handout/EPA

Tesla expects to produce 100 cars in August and more than 1,500 in September, according to Musk. A European launch is expected at a later date, although Tesla estimates delivery of vehicles for new reservations taking a year or longer.

The Model 3 passed regulatory requirements and was put into production two weeks early. Photograph: Handout Handout/EPA

The Model 3 is the third model in the current range from the company that includes the Model S and Model X – a crossover SUV that was delivered to customers almost 18 months later than planned.

Tesla’s limiting of options for the Model 3 to choice of colour and wheels was made in an effort to speed manufacturing and reduce the production issues it has suffered in the past with an over-complicated list of options for its Model X.

Musk hopes that the Model 3 will be Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle, which will put strain on its current support system and dealerships, of which there are few compared to mainstream rivals such as General Motors, which built more than 10m cars in the same time Tesla produced just 84,000 in 2015.

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