Tesla has reportedly received nearly 400,000 pre-orders for its new Model 3, which has now become its best-selling product of all time.
Interestingly, within a week of its launch, the all-electric car received 325,000 pre-orders.
The order now corresponds to more than US$ 14 billion (Rs 93,200 crore) worth of potential sales. This would see the firm's Gigafactory, which has an expected annual output of 500,000 batteries a year, using the vast majority of its production capacity for the Model 3.
The first video footage of a Tesla Model 3 in the wild surfaced online earlier this month.
A staggering 276,000 deposits were put down in the first 72 hours of the order books being opened, with 117,000 of those orders placed before the car had been unveiled.
The Model 3, unveiled at a launch event in California, is the fourth all-electric model to come from Tesla and is the affordable car that company owner Elon Musk says he set out to build from the very beginning.
Like Tesla’s other models, the all-new Model 3 boasts some impressive headline figures. Although exact specifications have not yet been confirmed, the car is claimed, its most basic form, to be capable of accelerating from 0-100 kph in less than six seconds, and able to eke out more than 400 km from one charge.
It can do this while seating five adults "comfortably", says Musk. He also says that no combustion-engined car of this size could offer as much cabin space. Thanks to the lack of combustion engine up front, front-row passengers sit further forward than normal, freeing up more space for those behind. A single-pane panoramic sunroof also gives the cabin a more open feel.
Like Tesla’s other models, the all-new Model 3 boasts some pretty impressive headline figures. Though exact specifications are yet to be confirmed, it’s claimed to be capable of accelerating from 0-100kph in under six seconds in its most basic form, and can eke out more than 250 miles/ 400 kilometres from one charge.
It can do this while seating five adults ‘comfortably,’ with Musk even saying that no combustion engined car of this size can offer as much cabin space. Thanks to the lack of combustion engine up front, front-row passengers sit further forward than normal, freeing up more space for those behind, and a single-pane panoramic sunroof gives the cabin a more open feel.
Like the Model S, there are two boot compartments – one at the front and one at the back.
Musk makes some bold claims for safety, saying that safety has come first in the car’s development. He expects the Model 3 to be awarded five stars in every safety category.
All Model 3s will come as standard with Tesla’s latest autopilot features, and use a tablet-style dash-mounted infotainment system much like the Model S.
Deliveries are expected to kick off in late 2017, with cars priced at $35,000 (Rs 22.10 lakh) in the USA.
The Model 3 will rival the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4.
All Model 3s will come with free access to Tesla’s network of free Superchargers as standard. Currently there are 3,600 Superchargers worldwide, but Tesla wants to double this number by the end of 2017, while exceeding 7,000 end-of-destination chargers by the same date.
There will also be more than 441 Tesla servicing stations across the globe by the end of 2017.
In anticipation for the Model 3’s growing demand, Tesla wants to build 500,000 batteries a year. Its newly built Gigafactory (which has the largest footprint of any building of any kind) will produce more lithium ion batteries than all other lithium ion battery production combined.
Elon Musk on the Model 3
“Why are we making the Model 3? Because we want to accelerate the transition to a future of sustainable transport,” Musk said at the car’s launch event.
“The world is now at record high CO2 levels and we recently passed 400 parts per million of CO2. To address this, we came up with the Tesla secret masterplan. It was originally a trilogy; now it’s a four-part trilogy," he continued.
“With any technology, it takes many iterations before you can make it low in price and high in volume. The Roadster was a low-volume, high-price car, and the Model S and X are mid-volume, mid-price products. The Model 3 is therefore our high-volume, affordable-price model. It’s only been possible to reach this after the prior models.”
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