What we know about the Tesla 3 so far – It could be the most important electric car the world has ever seen.
If you’re anything like us you have been drooling over the Tesla Model S ever since it was launched in 2013. In just three short years the Tesla S has become No.1 in the US luxury car market, overtaking sales of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S Class.
Last count there are close to 100,000 Teslas worldwide of which 33 are in New Zealand, and that’s before a Tesla showroom has arrived here.
It’s no surprise as the Tesla S is now the third fastest production car achieving a 0 – 100 km/h time of 2.8 seconds. Beaten only by the fastest Porsche and Ferrari both of which are hybrids, but each with price tags over NZ$1m.
But wait there’s more! The Tesla S is a family sedan, making it the fastest 5 seater ever by a moon shot. It’s a game changer that is rocking the automotive landscape globally.
Not to mention the Tesla’s autonomous self-driving capability which can be found all over Youtube.
So at a starting price of NZ$120,000 the Tesla S is a comparative bargain, but for the vast majority this price is out of reach.
Enter the Tesla Model 3 which Tesla is set to reveal online on the 31st March (1st April NZ time).
Tesla wants the Model 3 to be known as the “electric car of the people” so affordability for the masses is the key priority for Tesla, hence a starting price of US$35,000.
The Model 3 was originally going to be called the Model E, to fit in between the Model S and X for obvious humorous reasons but Ford owns the Model E trademark so Elon Musk and the Tesla team settled on Model 3, close enough.
No one except Tesla employees knows what the Tesla 3 looks like so we’ve provided some third party renditions from the inter-web of what the Tesla may look like …… only 3 sleeps to go before the real deal is available!
So what do we know about the Model 3? Here are some snippets of information we have garnered from various sources including Tesla’s own PR releases.
• It will have a starting price point of US$35k which is impressive given the average purchase price of cars in the US is US$31k. Likely to be closer to NZ$55,000 when it comes to Aotearoa. While $55,000 sounds steep, consider that the average Kiwi will save around $2,500 per year in fuel and servicing costs by moving to an electric vehicle, check out our EV calculator here to see how much you could save.
• A 300 km range will be the starting point, enough for Auckland to Whangarei return trip, or Wellington to Ohakune one way. With the rollout of Charge.Net.NZ rapid chargers, Northland to Southland is totally do-able with a 300 km range.
• The Model 3 will be packed with new third generation Tesla technology. Every Tesla 3 will include hardware to enable autonomous driving just as a starter. Wireless charging hasn’t been confirmed but is not out of the question as Tesla has hinted recently at autonomous self-charging.
• It’s targeted at the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C class. Based on the performance of the Tesla S though, it is likely the Tesla 3 will be quicker than current top line petrol or diesel rivals including the M3 and S4.
• To get on the waiting list all you need is AUD$1,500, reservations are being taken online from the 1st April. But, demand for the Tesla 3 is high, even though we don’t know what it looks like. So waiting lists will be supplied in order of Tesla staff first, now 15,000 employees, then current owners of Tesla S and X, then the West Coast of the US.
• Currently Tesla is supplying 90,000 vehicles per year, up from 33,000 in 2014. By 2020 they expect to be able to supply 500,000 per annum.
• The Model 3 is a new chasis platform to the S and X and will provide the platform for smaller crossover vehicles such as the Y.
• There is no Tesla presence yet in New Zealand but there are rumours that Tesla will be setting up shop here over the next 12 months. Rumours only unfortunately. Orders in the meantime can be made however via the Melbourne and Sydney Tesla offices.
For EV-heads like us, the next 3 nights will be unbearable.
If you have a members stand already set up in your living room for the T20, we suggest keep the seating arrangements in place for the Tesla 3 reveal online.
It’s going to be a game changer for all of us.