Tesla Model 3 Finally Arrives: Should You Bother With Elon Musk’s Minimalist, Mass Market Electric Vehicle?
In a sense, yes. To answer that headline, one should definitely bother with Tesla's latest offering.
The Model 3 stands as the first relatively cheap electric vehicle from Tesla, which aptly makes it part of the small "mass market" category of EVs.
Tesla Unwraps Model 3 Vehicle
The company has now handed the first batch of Model 3 vehicles to 30 customers, kicking off what's expected to be a historical turn for Tesla's business as it moves further up the mass market territory. Helping it become a more profitable mainstream company.
Some even liken it to the launch of the original iPhone, in which a groundbreaking product singlehandedly propels a company to new heights.
The base variant of the Model 3 just costs $35,000 and it can last 220 miles on a single charge. Those looking for extra range will most likely go for the $44,000 version, however, which can give you up to 310 miles.
Call it what you will — a historical turning point, a massive inflection point in the EV industry, or something else pretty-sounding — it matters not. For Elon Musk, it's all pretty simple:
Tesla Model 3: The Design
The car's dashboard features a minimalist design, starkly different from what one would find inside traditional cars. Tesla cleaned it up: it reduced clutter for a fresher and sleeker look, and it got rid of buttons and knobs, replacing it with a massive 15-inch touch display to the right of the driver.
"The interior is nothing like any other car out there," said Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer. He designed the company's three most raved vehicles: Models X, S, and the 3.
The Model 3 is an all-new auto platform for the company, built with a new motor technology and a new battery architecture. As you can see from its minimalist design, the Tesla Model 3 was created with ease of manufacturing in mind. You can control everything using the 15-inch display, which even accepts voice commands and has alternative knobs embedded right on the steering wheel.
In recent years, Tesla has become the de facto brand for EVs, and perhaps it's partly because it makes damn good vehicles. Yet one cannot simply ignore the care which goes into the car's overall presentation — consisting of user experience, the interface, interiors, and the overall design.
In a sense, Tesla truly borrowed some things from Apple's playbook, which compels manufacturers to think of even the most trivial details and polish it. So, what do we get in the end? A powerful, cheap EV that feels made and not put together.
Tesla Model 3 Production Hell
Should you bother with the Model 3? Definitely. Can you? As in, will you be able to? Perhaps not. Hours before the unveiling, Musk said Tesla will face some difficulties building the car this early in the production cycle.
"We're going to go through at least six months of manufacturing hell," said Musk.
Interested buyers would most likely not receive their Model 3 until late next year, explained Musk.
Look into the future and assume the Model 3 succeeds in the mainstream market. That would most definitely help Musk achieve his broader "master plan," which sees an era of electrification with semi-trucks, solar roofs, and large-scale battery storage systems. It's all the finer pieces that Musk needs to cook up clean energy for all, if not for most.
"This is a great day for Tesla," Musk said. "It's something that we've been working for since the beginning of the company."