By Eli Hearne (Tech Editor) and Sam Shikora (Political Editor).
In a few months, the roads may be significantly more populated with electric vehicles.
On March 31st, Tesla Motors showed the world their newest car, the Model 3. What separates this car from previous Teslas is a significant drop in price.
The Model S, released in 2012, sells for a price starting at $70,000, which is about the mean income in America. This makes the Model S not affordable, even in its base form, for the average person, and is a huge reason why the Tesla brand has become known as a luxury car brand.
Junior Sammy Kirshenbaum says that he loves the idea of whipping around in a Tesla, but it isn’t realistic for most people. “A Tesla looks nice, but it is way too expensive for the majority of our country,” said Kirshenbaum.
These notions are exactly what Tesla was combatting with the release of the Model 3. Starting at $35,000, Tesla hopes to reach a broader market, and it seems to be doing well so far.
A tweet on April 3rd by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, revealed that the car has already received over 276,000 pre-orders (with a $1,000 down-payment). If all of these hold up, in only less than a week of availability, the Model 3 has sold over 9.6 billion dollars worth.
4 days later, Musk tweeted again, saying that the new model is up to over 325,000 pre-orders, meaning a potential revenue of $14 billion dollars for the California company.
Tesla has worked hard to make the cheaper car still have the elite “Tesla feel”. Musk said, “You will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000 – or even close.”
Like many of the luxury cars in its class, the Model 3 has been received with criticism due to having a low base model price, but a much higher price with options. While Musk claims that the average transaction price for a Model 3 will be around $42,000, automotive analyst Adam Jonas claims that the average price out the door for a Model 3 will be in the $50,000 range.
Like its big brother, the Model S, the Model 3 features Tesla’s “Autopilot,” or partially-autonomous driving system, meaning that self-driving cars are becoming much more affordable.
The Model 3 can also drive distances in excess of 200 miles. If that’s not enough for customers who like to drive long distances, they can rest assured knowing that Tesla’s extensive Supercharger quick-charging network can charge the Model 3 to 80% in about 30 minutes.
In both price point and size, the Model 3 compares to other compact executive vehicles like the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C Class, Audi A4, Lexus IS, and the Acura TSX.
Company officials claim that the car will get from 0-60 in less than 6 seconds, which compares well to its competition.
We will have to wait until 2017 to see how the world likes it.