Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Tesla now sells Model 3 with 260-mile range, $45,000 sticker

Tesla Model 3 Dual ECUs control the steering
Kelvin Reese | 20 October, 2018, 03:25

Tesla is finally offering a less expensive version of its Model 3 electric auto. So, if you do go with that option, your sweet Federal Tax credit is going to be diminished.

While the true entry-level Model 3 has yet to arrive-that's the auto former CEO Elon Musk has promised would cost $35,000 and deliver 220 miles of range-this mid-spec, rear-wheel-drive version achieves 260 miles of EPA-estimated range. Consequently, its range is down from 310 mile (498 km) to 260 miles (418 km).

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.

Despite its drawbacks, a Model 3 with a lower price tag could spell great news for Tesla as its first affordable vehicle has been viewed as an integral step in the firm's transition to become a leader in the broader auto market, as well as necessary to ward off heightened competitive pressures from both traditional car makers and niche EV startups.

This cheaper model has a top speed of 125mph and does 0-60mph in just 5.6 seconds. A cheaper rear-wheel version will no longer be available. The Tesla website notes that the full $7,500 federal tax credit is only available to customers who take delivery by the end of the year (given the company has already hit the 200,000 unit tax credit limit). That incentive will be cut in half for the first six months of 2019, and then gets halved again for the following six months.

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The Model 3 is a four-door compact sedan that can seat up to "five adults comfortably, and the word comfortably is the key", Musk said.

The surprise announcement, delivered via tweet to Musk's 23 million followers, comes as Tesla seeks to steer attention away from a chaotic period in which Musk battled with critics, smoked marijuana during an interview and pledged that he had the money to take Tesla private - a promise for which he was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and which he recently settled.

Elon Musk has always hoped to scale production at Tesla and lower their design and technology costs enough to be able to offer a truly mass-market electric vehicle.

The delivery estimate for the mid-range version is 6 to 10 weeks in Canada.

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