At an event in Los Angeles, Tesla today unveiled its latest electric car, the Model 3.
The $35,000 vehicle is designed to seat five adults comfortably and can travel 215 miles on a single charge. It goes from 0-60mph in six seconds.
CEO Elon Musk presented the car on stage and announced that the company’s Autopilot 3 self-driving feature as well as support for its Superchargers (which deliver enough power for 170 miles in 30 minutes) will be available as standard.
For comparison, the Model S sedan has a range of 257 miles on a full charge, or 250 miles in its high-speed ‘Ludicrous mode’ — only a little less than the Model S’ 265 miles.
Although it seems small when compared to the Model S, Tesla’s latest car features plenty of storage in the front and rear, and can accommodate a seven-foot long surfboard in the cabin.
A little over a week ago, the company allowed owners of its Model S sedan and Model X SUV to skip the queue to book a vehicle. Meanwhile, Andreas Stephens waited 48 hours outside a dealership in Sydney to become the first one to pre-book his Model 3 by putting down a $1,000 deposit.
Musk noted that Tesla has already received 115,000 pre-orders for the car. The Model 3 will begin rolling out in the US around the end of 2017, and arrive in other markets, including Australia, in 2018. Orders are limited to a maximum of two per person.
Adding several more countries to Model 3 order page tonight. Check for details, but will include India, Brazil, SA, SK, NZ, Sing & Ireland.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 31, 2016
Musk tweeted that Tesla’s entire range will be available in six more countries: Brazil, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, and Singapore.
Tesla says that when the Model 3 launches at the end of next year, the company will have a total of 7,200 Superchargers worldwide, or twice the number that it currently runs. By that time, it will also have 441 sales and service locations by the end of 2017 across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, up from 215 at present.
You can watch the full reveal of the car from this livestream recap below:
With that, Tesla is poised to take electric vehicles mainstream. The Model 3’s price point – about a third of what the Model S and Model X cost – is much more accessible and in line with what car buyers expect to pay for a well appointed gasoline vehicle today.
Plus, Tesla is keen on expanding to more countries, including challenging price-sensitive ones like India. It’ll be interesting to see if Musk and Co. can usher in a new era of motoring across the globe over the next few years.
Oh, and Tesla might still have more to reveal about the Model 3 soon, as Musk’s tweet indicates:
Thanks for tuning in to the Model 3 unveil Part 1! Part 2 is super next level, but that's for later…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 1, 2016