Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Economy | By

Tesla's Model 3 just got a bit more affordable

Tesla's Model 3 just got a bit more affordable

The only available Model 3 for the past year has been a long-range version, offered mostly at luxury prices.

Tesla chief Elon Musk said late Thursday that the automaker was preparing to sell the cheapest version yet of its newest electric auto, the Model 3, signalling an attempt to get back to business after months of controversy.

Meanwhile, many reservation holders are still waiting for the $35,000 version to come to market. Announced by Elon Musk via Twitter, the new mid-range sedan is available for order now in black, midnight silver metallic, deep blue metallic, pearl white, and red - though anything but the black will cost you an added premium of $1,500 to $2,500.

Tesla has reshuffled its Model 3 lineup and is now offering the cheapest version yet, but it's still $10,000 more than the long-promised $35,000 entry-level auto.

According to the website, the rear-wheel-drive model has a "mid range" battery, a range of 260 miles, 50 miles less than the long-range battery that the more expensive Model 3 is equipped with.

As with other Model 3 versions, Tesla hasn't revealed a precise battery capacity; but if it corresponds to range, this battery pack would factor in at about 63 kwh. A cheaper rear-wheel version will no longer be available. 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. That incentive will be cut in half for the first six months of 2019, and then gets halved again for the following six months.

While the automaker has battled production problems with Model 3 vehicles, in the third quarter Tesla said it produced 80,142 vehicles, of which 53,239 were Model 3 sedans. In May he hinted a late summer or fall arrival and said that shipping the most affordable Model 3 right away would "cause Tesla to lose money and die".

Tesla has had very well-publicized issues with production and then delivery logistics over the a year ago.

To get the Mid Range into production quicker than previously anticipated, Tesla uses the same battery as the Long Range but packs it with fewer cells.

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