Elon Musk Unveils the Next Phase in Tesla's Master Plan...

Daniel Banas  |

Today, Tesla will be unveiling their long-awaited Model 3. What makes this different from past Tesla (TSLA) launches, however, is that it’s a product that’s not directed exclusively to the affluent, luxury market. That said, this isn’t exactly the start of a new direction for Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s hi-tech electric auto company, but is actually the next phase in Musk’s “master plan” to sell high-priced electric vehicles to garner demand for the production of a mass-market vehicle, as well as the infrastructure needed to support it.

If early anticipation is any indication, Musk’s plan seems to be moving forward like clockwork. Yesterday, lines already began to grow outside Tesla showrooms throughout the US and Europe the likes of which are normally reserved for the latest Apple product launch or Star Wars film.

So what has gotten these tech enthusiasts so excited? Good question. Unless you’ve got Elon’s private email address, you’ll have to wait for the unveiling later today like the rest of us. However, there have been a few leaked details that give at least a partial idea of what to expect. Here’s what (we think) we know thus far:

  • The pricing floor for Model 3 is expected to be $35,000, which may not exactly sound cheap...until you consider that past models came with price tags much closer to $100,000.
  • The Model 3 will NOT be a smaller carbon copy of the Model S… or any other car, for that matter. During a Reddit AMA last year, Musk stated that the Model 3 “won’t look like other cars.” Further still, in an interview with Gigaom in 2013, Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen asserted that the Model 3 would be “more expressive” and represent a more “couture” design than the Model S.
  • Though the exact size of the car remains unknown, it’s widely suspected that the car will be approximately 20% smaller than the Model S.
  • The range of the car is also unknown, but it can be reasonably expected that the range should be similar to that of the Chevrolet’s competing electric sedan the Bolt, which has a range of over 200 miles per charge.
  • The car can be preordered, but will require a $1,000 deposit.

For many the only question really worth answering is: When can I get my hands on one? Well, the current plan is for the Model 3 to ship in late 2017, and given Tesla’s spotty track record of falling behind shipping schedules, you can rest assured Musk’s team will do everything possible to make sure they hit their target date.

You can see the Model 3 for yourself by live-streaming the debut at 11:30 EST/8:30 PM PST this evening.

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TSLA Tesla Inc. 264.53 -9.49 -3.46 8,745,609 Trade



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