Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News – 29-07-2017
Tesla has delivered on a dream make an electric car for the masses, rolling out the first of its keenly awaited “Model 3” cars, aiming to disrupt a world accustomed to automobiles powered by pollution-spewing fossil fuel.
An initial batch of the ‘Model 3’ cars that rolled out of the Tesla plant in Fremont, California late Friday was given to customers, most of whom were employees of the company.
Tesla founder and chief South African born Elon Musk proclaimed it a great day for the company, saying the goal was to make a terrific electric car “that everyone can buy.”
“It’s the best car for its cost, either electric or gasoline.”
According to Musk Production of the electric car aimed at the broader market — with a starting price of $35,000 — will ramp up quickly, with 100 in August and 1,500 or more in September.
Tesla aims to produce 5,000 units of the Model 3 a week this year, and 10,000 units a week in 2018.
Tesla already sells “S” and “X” model electric cars, but with a starting price of $80,000 (R1-million) they have been seen as wheels for the wealthy.
The Model 3 silhouette resembles that of the Model S, but the new electric ride is smaller with a simpler design.
The vehicle’s battery was designed to keep it going for “at least 345 kilometres” before needing to be recharged, according to Tesla. A battery with a longer range is available for more money.
Musk has mentioned in Tesla earnings calls that while early models were packed with innovative engineering, they caused vexation on the assembly line.
The Model 3, he said, was designed from the outset with mass production in mind to push down cost and crank cars out quickly.
More than half-million customers have placed deposits to get on the waiting list for the Model 3, and anyone wanting one will have to wait at least until 2018.
Like its predecessors, the Model 3 is fully electric and on-board computers can handle some driving tasks.
Success of the Model 3 could put in the rear-view mirror concerns about Tesla’s prospects for growth.
So far, Musk’s strategy has paid off. Even though most major carmakers sell electric vehicles, Tesla practically defines the category.
The rush of pre-orders allowed Tesla to recently become the biggest US car company in terms of market capitalization, despite the fact that General Motors (GM) and Ford produce millions of cars per year and Tesla has yet to make a profit.