Tesla Model 3

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Tesla Model 3
Candy Red Tesla Model 3 trimmed 2.jpg
Tesla Model 3 prototype
Manufacturer Tesla Motors
Also called Code name: BlueStar
Assembly United States: Fremont, California (Tesla Factory)
Body and chassis
Class Compact premium car (C)
Body style 4-door sedan
Electric range Minimum 215 mi (346 km) range (EPA-rated)[1]
Wheelbase 2,870 mm (113 in) est.[2]
Length 4,676 mm (184.1 in) est.[2]
Width 1,885 mm (74.2 in) est.[2]
Height 1,435 mm (56.5 in) est.[2]

The Tesla Model 3 is an all-electric four-door compact luxury sedan produced by Tesla Motors. It was unveiled on March 31, 2016, with initial production and deliveries planned for the end of 2017. Tesla anticipates the Model 3 will deliver an all-electric range of at least 215 miles (346 km), with base model pricing in the US market starting at US$35,000 before any applicable government incentives.[1]

Within a week of the unveiling, company officials said they had taken 325,000 Model 3 reservations, more than triple the number of Model S sedans Tesla had sold by the end of 2015. These reservations represent potential sales of over US$14 billion.[1][3] As of May 15, 2016, Tesla had taken about 373,000 reservations.[4]


Company officials said the base model of the all-electric car will have a range of at least 215 miles (346 km), will be able to seat five people comfortably, include both front and rear trunks, and will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0 to 100 km/h) in less than six seconds. The Model 3 is expected to have a drag coefficient of Cd=0.21. This will be lower than the Tesla Model S drag coefficient of Cd=0.24, which in 2014 was the lowest among current production cars.[5] Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the rear-wheel-drive base model would have great traction on ice because of the fast torque response of the electric motor.[6]

During the unveiling ceremony, Tesla announced a price starting at US$35,000 before any applicable government incentives. However, with options, Musk predicted that the average sales price will be closer to US$42,000.[1] First deliveries are expected in the US by late 2017, with full production in 2018.[1][7] As a result of the high demand for Model 3, in May 2016 Tesla Motors announced its decision to advance its 500,000 total unit build plan (combined for Model S, Model X, and Model 3) to 2018, two years earlier than previously planned, in order to accelerate its target for Model 3 output.[8][9] Tesla issued US$2 billion in new shares to the stock market to finance the plan.[10]


The Model 3 (stylized as "☰")[11] was codenamed Tesla BlueStar in the original business plan in 2007.[12] The name Model 3 was announced on Musk's Twitter account on July 16, 2014,[13] however the intended name was Model E that was abandoned due to Ford's trademark on the name; Musk wanted the three current models to spell SEX, but settled with "S3X".[14]


In 2013, design chief Franz von Holzhausen stated that the Model 3 will "be an Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class type of vehicle that will offer everything: range, affordability, and performance with a starting price of US$30,000" that is targeted toward the mass-market.[15] While technology from Tesla's Model S will be incorporated into the Model 3,[16] it will be 20% smaller than the Model S[17] and have its own unique design.[18] According to Tesla's CTO, JB Straubel, in October 2015 most Tesla engineers were working on the 3 rather than S or X.[19][20] Since electric cars have lower cooling needs than combustion cars, the Model 3 does not have a front grille. Musk intended for the final design to be released on June 30,[21] but the design was finished July 27 then it was not publicly released.[22] After the final design of the first Model 3, any further features would be included in future versions of the 3.[23] The glass roof (developed by Tesla Glass) is to be made of the same glass used for roof tiles;[24] a glass roof was introduced on the Model S in late 2016.[25]


About 125 people in line to reserve a Tesla Model 3 in Walnut Creek, California.

In September 2015, Tesla announced that the Model 3 would be unveiled in March 2016.[26] In January 2016, Musk stated that the first official pictures of the car will be revealed at the end of March 2016.[27] Delivery would begin in late 2017 first on the US West Coast and then move eastwards.[28] Potential customers were first able to reserve their spot in the queue at Tesla stores or online on March 31 with a refundable deposit of US$1,000.[29] In February 2016, Tesla indicated that the unveiling would be on March 31, 2016.[30] Employees of Tesla and SpaceX were given early access to Model 3 reservation, and about 10,000 signed up without discount,[31] scheduled to receive the first batch of cars.[32][33] Current owners of Tesla vehicles will get priority sales after employees but before the general public, as a reward for helping pay for the development of the Model 3.[33] Early production is usually more flawed, and both the Model S and the Model X had several problems at the start of their production,[34][33] but improved since then.[35]

On the morning of March 31, 2016, tens of thousands of people were reported waiting in lines to place the refundable deposit to reserve a Model 3 for 2017 delivery, even though they had not yet seen the car unveiled.[36] During the Model 3 unveil event, it was revealed that over 115,000 people had reserved the Model 3 in less than 24 hours prior to the unveiling event.[37] 24 hours after opening reservations, Tesla had advanced orders for over 180,000 units. As of April 3, 2016, Tesla Motors reported 276,000 reservations that represent potential sales of over US$11.5 billion.[1][38]

Comparison of EPA-rated range for electric cars priced under US$50,000 in the U.S. Only model year 2016 and 2017 cars, and the upcoming Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV are included.[1][39][40]

One week after the unveiling, Tesla reported over 325,000 reservations, which corresponds to about US$14 billion in potential sales.[3] Musk reported that 5% of reservations correspond to the maximum of two vehicles allowed per customer, "suggesting low levels of speculation",[41] and that 93% of Model 3 reservations are from new buyers who do not currently own a Tesla.[33] Tesla Motors claims "this is the single biggest one-week launch of any product ever",[42] however other product sales may eclipse this, as the iPhone 6 sold over 4 million units in 24 hours.[43] According to Bloomberg News and others,[44] "the Model 3's unveiling was unique in the 100-year history of the mass-market automobile." Bloomberg reported that while the 1955 Citroën DS took in 80,000 deposits over 10-days at the Paris Auto Show, the Model 3 took 232,000 reservations in two days.[45] At the 1964 World's Fair and around the US, Ford received 22,000 orders on the first day for the Mustang.[46] In another comparison, the original iPhone reached 270,000 sales and reservations in two days.[45]

According to Tesla’s global vice-president Robin Ren, China is the second largest market for the Model 3 after the U.S.[47] Tesla reported the number of net reservations totaled about 373,000 as of May 15, 2016, after about 8,000 customer cancellations and about 4,200 reservations canceled by the automaker because these appeared to be duplicates from speculators.[4][48]

A study of potentially self-driving ridesharing Model 3s indicate that around 30,000 Model 3s could supply 10% of car trips around Austin, Texas at a cost of $0.663 per mile ($0.412/km), equivalent to the price of private ownership, and below that of current ridesourcing.[49][50]

Tesla, sometime after late 2017, plans to enter the following countries' markets for the first time with the Model 3: India, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and Ireland.[51]


The company plans for the Model 3 are part of Tesla's three step strategy to start at high price and move progressively towards lower cost, where the battery and electric drivetrain technology would be developed and paid for through sales of the Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model S vehicles.[12][52] Whereas the Roadster used carbon fiber and the Model S and X use aluminum for the body, the Model 3 is made out of a combination of steel and aluminum,[53] steel being the dominant material.[54] Musk has said that Tesla will need to sell 500,000 cars per year (mostly Model 3) to become profitable.[55] Tesla plans to increase the size of Tesla Factory in Fremont, California to accommodate Model 3 production,[56] viewed as a new and large capability.[57][58]

Production stages[edit]

As of May 2016 Tesla and its suppliers expect volume production to occur sometime in second half of 2017, but not by the "deadline" of July 1, 2017. Usually car production takes a couple of years to start.[59] Tesla indicated to suppliers that it intended to double earlier announced Model 3 production targets to 100,000 in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018 due to demand, which suppliers[60][61] and some experts viewed as difficult.[62][59] In Tesla Factory, paint lines for 500,000 cars were begun in 2015, and some stamping equipment for the Model 3 was operational in August 2016.[63] After the two Alpha prototypes (silver and black; red is a shell) were shown in April 2016, Tesla finished the design in late July 2016. Tesla ordered parts equivalent to 300 Beta prototypes in August 2016, preparing for development of the assembly line. When the production line is operational, the factory can make release candidates for testing before actual production begins.[64][65] By October 2016, Tesla stated it to be "on schedule".[66][67][68] The Gigafactory is intended to produce battery packs for Model 3, however Tesla also posted job listings for "Drive Unit production line" engineers at the Gigafactory.[69]

Tesla Model X (left) and Model 3 (right) at the unveiling event on March 31, 2016.


Tesla expects to start first customer deliveries in second half of 2017. Due to the waiting list, new customers ordering a Model 3 in May 2016 could receive it by late 2018. Any new reservations made will be delivered in 2018 as production ramps up at Tesla up to 500,000 cars per year.[61]


The base model is expected to have:

Rear view of the Tesla Model 3 prototype.
Feature Description Optional Features References
Range (minimum) 215 mi (346 km) (EPA-rated) Longer-range battery packs

Speculated 300+ miles (482+ km)

Estimated measurements L × W × H 4,676 mm (184.1 in) × 1,885 mm (74.2 in) × 1,435 mm (56.5 in)

wheelbase 2,870 mm (113 in)

Automobile layout Rear-Wheel Drive [RWD] Dual motor / All-Wheel Drive [AWD] [70][71][72]
Acceleration time Less than 6 sec. 0–60 mph (0–100 km/h) Less than 4 sec. 0–60 mph (0–100 km/h)

(with Ludicrous mode)

Self Driving capability Hardware and active safety features Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self driving capability [74][75]
Aerodynamics Expected drag coefficient of Cd=0.21 [76]
Navigation console Single center mounted 15-inch (380 mm) LCD console display in landscape orientation [77]
Rear roof area One continuous pane of glass Main roof: metal, glass, sunroof, or solar options [70][78]
Handling Different "steering controls and system" than seen in the unveiled prototypes, that "feels like a spaceship" [79]
Trunk Front and Rear [70]
Charging Worldwide electrical voltage and amperage charging compatibility

400 kWh of supercharging credits per year

Supercharger credits [80][81][82]
Interior Premium Leather (included in Premium Upgrades Package) Vegan friendly (non-leather) [83]
Suspension Normal Active Air Suspension [84]
Towing N/A Tow hitch [85]


Robert Cumberford, a widely known car design critic, says the Model 3 "is an excellent design" and praised the front fascia skin that he thinks is superior to the painted surrogate grille of the pre-refresh Model S.[86][87]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]