Has the most compelling all-electric BMW 3-series rival arrived? Tesla would like to think so, and with in excess of 115,000 worldwide orders placed for the Model 3 in under 24 hours, we'd be inclined to agree. There's no doubt that the adoption of electric cars has just seen a huge surge with this most significant Tesla model to date.
MAR 31st 2016
Video: Tesla Model 3 – Time for the 3‑series to be worried by an electric car?
It's the car Tesla founder Elon Musk set out to make from the outset. 'With any technology it takes many iterations before you can make it low price and high volume. The Roadster was a low-volume, high-price car, and the Model S and X are mid-volume, mid-price products. The Model 3 is therefore our high-volume, affordable-price model. It’s only been possible to reach this after the prior models.'
The car will be priced at $35,000, with deliveries beginning in 2017. That's equivalent to £25,000, but you'll probably need to spend more than than that in UK showrooms by the time import tax and shipping has been taken into account.
We're used to electric cars being fast, and the Model 3 is no exception. Tesla claims a 0-60mph time of under six seconds, and that's in standard form. How long will it be before 'Ludicrous Mode' is available? If you're less enthusiastic with your right foot, a range of 200 miles between charges is claimed, which is enough for most journeys. Free access to Tesla's network of Superchargers comes as standard with the car.
In practical terms, the Model 3 is said to offer greater interior space than conventional cars of the same class. Without an internal combustion engine up front, occupants can take advantage of the freed up space. There's a boot front and rear, like the Model S. There's no reason for the car to adopt the usual two/three-box shape, except perhaps for greater market acceptance.
And market acceptance appears to be exactly what the car has achieved. With its greater proliferation, the network of free Superchargers is set to double by the end of 2017 from its current 3600, by which time there will also be over 7000 end-of-destination chargers.
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