Archive for the ‘tesla model 3’ Category

Tesla quietly drops “full self-driving” option as it adds $45,000 Model 3

October 19th, 2018
Tesla quietly drops “full self-driving” option as it adds $45,000 Model 3

Enlarge (credit: Tesla)

Elon Musk took to Twitter (where else, right?) on Thursday evening to inform his followers of a new addition to the Model 3 lineup. This is not the long-awaited $35,000 version, however; the mid-range Model 3 starts at $45,000. Musk also revealed that the Model 3 ordering process has been simplified and now has fewer options. One that's missing—from all new Tesla orders, not just the Model 3—is the controversial "full self-driving" option. The reason? It was "causing too much confusion," Musk tweeted.

The mid-range Model 3s will be rear-wheel drive only, prompting some to wonder if the company was using software to limit battery capacity on existing RWD inventory in order to get it out of the door. But Tesla says it's able to build these slightly cheaper cars by using the same battery pack as the more expensive, longer-range cars but with fewer cells inside.

However, Tesla is promoting the car as costing as little as $30,700 by factoring in "gas savings" and all possible federal and local electric vehicle tax incentives (but not the destination charge). That it did so is a little surprising; just seven days ago Tesla said that it could not guarantee any order received after October 15th would ship before the beginning of next year. Any new Tesla delivered after January 1st 2019 (but before July 1st 2019) is only eligible for a $3,750 IRS credit. Tesla says delivery for the new mid-range Model 3 should take six to 10 weeks.

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EPA docs appear to reveal Tesla Model 3 battery info, but Musk says not so fast

August 10th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Tesla)

In a move that still appears bizarre, with the Model 3 launch Tesla decided that talking about an electric car’s battery pack in terms of kWh was passé. Until now, the brand has used kWh to badge its various models, so we know that a Model S 60 has 60kWh-worth of cells and a Model X P100D packs 100kWh between its wheels. The new order does away with that, much like when BMW ditched decades of badging logic. Instead, there’s just a regular and long-range model, with EPA estimated ranges of 220 and 310 miles. But with barely a handful of Model 3s on the road—and a long wait in store of most of the preorder queue—the Internet is hungry for more details. After all, how else to bench race it?

On Monday, Autoblog appeared to have solved the mystery, at least in part. Tucked away in an EPA document (PDF) were the magic numbers for the long-range model: 80.5kWh, based on the fact that it’s rated at 350V and 230Ah. The report also detailed the rear-wheel drive motor-generator unit, which is a 192kW (258hp) AC three-phase permanent magnet configuration.

But then, according to Electrek, Tesla corrected the record during a conference call with new investors: the standard Model 3 will have “just over 50kWh,” and the long-range version 75kWh.

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All the things the Internet hates about the Tesla Model 3 have me excited

July 31st, 2017

Enlarge / The first batch of production Tesla Model 3s, ready to be handed over to their new owners. (credit: Tesla)

Last Friday, Tesla’s new Model 3 electric vehicle finally hit the streets. At an event in California, the company handed over the first few production vehicles, a process that will continue for quite some time as Tesla fills what could be half-a-million prospective orders on its books.

Tesla made its reputation—and rebuilt that of the EV—on the backs of the Model S sedan and Model X SUV, high-end vehicles that have done a lot to dispel the idea that an EV has to be a hair-shirt experience. But it has a very different task at hand with the Model 3, which must sell at a far lower price and in much greater volume. That’s meant an obsessive approach to cost reduction, requiring some design choices that have not gone down well with everyone. But the more I consider what the company has done, the more impressed I am. Assuming the early takes and my gut instinct are accurate, Tesla deserves to sell them in the millions.

What kilowatts?

While I have your attention, I do have one gripe about the Model 3 I would like to get on the record, and it concerns how we talk about batteries. As expected, the Model 3 is available with a choice of two different battery packs, and I was wrong—the bigger battery isn’t just a software unlock away. Unlike the Model S and Model X, the 3 will use Tesla’s 2170 cells. The 2170s are larger than the 18650 cells even though they cost less to produce and have almost double the energy density (6,000mA compared to 3,000mA, according to InsideEVs.) But just what the battery specs are for the Model 3 variants remains unknown. The event and Tesla’s press kit simply describes them by range: 220 miles or 310 miles.

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Elon Musk says Tesla Model 3 production starts imminently

July 3rd, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

God bless Elon Musk’s twitter feed. Free of embargo (and occasionally filter), it’s a snapshot into the mind of this driven billionaire and the companies he runs. And thanks to some late Sunday night (or early Monday morning) Twitter action, we now know that Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is just about to go into production. The fact that the car is, if anything, slightly ahead of schedule should serve as a rebuttal to those who have criticized Musk for an inability to meet deadlines.

Musk says that production volume will grow exponentially, raising the frightening thought of having to abandon what’s left of Planet Earth once all its raw materials have been used to turn into electric cars:

More seriously though, production needs to ramp up quickly to deal with the huge backlog of orders already on hand:

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Tesla’s Model 3 is here—these are the details you’ve been waiting for

April 1st, 2016

HAWTHORNE, CA—Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk took the stage at the Tesla Design Studio to reveal the Tesla Model 3. “It’s very important to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport,” Musk said. “The last time there was this level of carbon concentration in the atmosphere was 11 million years ago.”

“Beyond global warming there are 53,000 deaths per year from auto emissions,”Musk added.

Tonight, Musk released the first official details on the company’s most important car to date, the Tesla Model 3. The base version of the all-electric vehicle will have a range of 215 miles., a continuous pane of glass on the rear roof, and front and rear trunks. Musk added that the car could comfortably fit a 7ft surfboard.

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Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3 will start production in 2017

September 3rd, 2015

God bless Elon Musk and his Twitter feed. While other companies rely on secretive press offices or employ PR giants to handle their communications, Musk happily uses the 140-character platform to break news about what’s going on at Tesla and SpaceX. Wednesday, we learned that the Model 3—Tesla’s next electric vehicle after the Model X SUV—will go into production in 2017, but only once the Gigafactory is up and running.

The Gigafactory is a $5 billion plant that Tesla is building near Sparks, Nevada in partnership with Panasonic. The plan is to achieve significant economies of scale at the Gigafactory, which will make the Model 3’s $35,000 price tag possible—something Musk also told us via Twitter yesterday.

When the Model 3 hits the streets in 2017 (assuming no Gigafactory-related delays) it won’t have as easy a time in the marketplace as the Model S, which even now still has no real competition. Chevrolet is launching the Bolt next year, a $30,000 EV which will match Tesla’s 200-mile (321km) range. However, Tesla has cleverly positioned itself as a premium brand with the Model S (and forthcoming Model X). Leveraging that cachet to move Model 3s seems like a no-brainer.

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