Tesla ready to deliver first Model 3s, projects 20K monthly manufacturing

  • 03-Jul-2017 12:13 EDT

The Model 3 is the litmus test for whether Tesla is capable of building battery-electric vehicles in high volume with the quality consumers have come to expect from all manufacturers of conventionally-powered vehicles (images: Tesla).

Electric-vehicle developer Tesla's chief executive Elon Musk announced over the weekend leading into the July 4, 2017 holiday that the company will on July 28 make the first customer deliveries of the long-anticipated Model 3, the $35,000 battery-electric compact sedan for which Tesla has received more than 300,000 deposits.

And in a statement that surely will provoke industry watchers worldwide, Musk also claimed that Tesla’s Fremont, CA assembly plant that will build the Model 3 (and already builds the Model S midsize sedan and Model X midsize crossover) will produce 20,000 Model 3s monthly by December—a volume goal that, given the company’s history for slow production ramp-ups, seems certain to inspire skepticism. Musk also previously said that the Fremont plant should be capable of building 10,000 vehicles per week by sometime in 2018.

Musk also communicated via Twitter that the Model 3 has achieved all necessary regulatory approvals. Tesla has in the past particularly prided itself on its performance in safety-related tests.

Few details about the Model 3 are yet available, including even a clear view of what the interior looks like. Tesla has not offered an official photo of the Model 3 interior at its website and has provided scant information about the car since it was revealed in March 2016 (http://articles.sae.org/14714/).

It is known, however, that the Model 3’s “base” battery pack is claimed to have energy density sufficient for 215 miles of driving range and Tesla said the car will accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than six seconds. The company claims at its website the Model 3 is “designed to achieve a 5-star safety rating” and that it will be fitted with hardware to facilitate Tesla’s “Autopilot” automated-driving functionalities.

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