'Cheaper' Tesla Model 3 nowhere near $35K promised

Posted October 20, 2018

After incentives (federal tax credit) and potential gas savings (over a spread of six years), Tesla advertises the cost as being $33,200. The top speed is reduced 30 mph from the performance model to 125 mph maximum, and you'd be able to reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds instead of just 3.3. In total, the mid-range Model 3 starts at $5200 less than the previous least-expensive model, the rear-wheel drive Long Range.

Tesla says its Standard Battery model, which is pegged to be its entry model at $35,000 Dollars (about $45,900 CAD) and widely promised as its most affordable, will be coming in 4-6 months.

Build combinations are reduced versus other versions of the Model 3 lineup.

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The electric-car maker has dropped from its online design studios the option to pay thousands of dollars more for what it called full self-driving, a higher-level feature for its Autopilot system.

"As Model 3 production and sales continue to grow rapidly, we've achieved a steady volume in manufacturing capacity, allowing us to diversify our product offering to even more customers", Tesla said in a statement.

We like the Tesla Model 3, and while we've enjoyed it in its rear-wheel-drive Long Range trim and its dual-motor Performance trim, what we've really been wanting to see is a Model 3 that gets closer in price to that fabled $35,000 mark that Elon Musk promised the world way back in 2016. It has what the carmaker describes as "a unique architecture that is not yet in production".

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Since the auto was billed as the "affordable Tesla" when it was announced, the announcement was, for many, overdue-especially in light of the company's announcement of a $64,000 "performance" version earlier this year.

That long-awaited price point may still be another few months away, Musk suggested in a post on Thursday describing the mid-range Model 3.

Until today, there's been two versions of the Model 3 available. If that's the model you still want, Musk noted that it will be available "off menu for another week or so". Those include a $7,500 federal subsidy for electric vehicles delivered on or before December 31, which gets cut in half on January 1.

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