First Deliveries of $35K Version of Tesla Model 3 Delayed until Late 2018

Tesla Model 3 - Mountain Pearl

Tesla has delivered about 10,000 examples of its Model 3 sedans so far but has thus far failed to deliver on one important item that was central to why this model garnered so much hype: its $ 35,000 base price. First U.S. deliveries of the standard-range (220 mile) version of the Model 3, still expected to start at that price, now aren’t due until “late 2018,” according to Tesla, while dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Model 3 versions are expected to start in what the company terms “mid-2018.”

The cars produced so far have been the single-motor version with the longer-range battery pack, a configuration that carries a plump sticker price in the low to mid-$ 50,000s—nearly what the original Model S was supposed to start at six years ago.

The Model 3, however, has been championed as Tesla’s mass-market car, one that could effectively cost $ 27,500 or less—just $ 25,000 to California customers who can take full advantage of the Golden State’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) rebate and the $ 7500 federal EV tax credit. But that base version may arrive into a very narrow window in which buyers can take full advantage of those incentives. Tesla expects to reach the federal tax credit’s cap of 200,000 vehicle deliveries in late 2018; that would trigger a yearlong period in which the amount of the credit would step down, first to $ 3750 for six months and then to $ 1875 for another six months, before expiring altogether.

Tesla Model 3 - Red Rear Sunset

Tesla continues to grapple with a conundrum that’s quite different from what other automakers face with their own fully electric cars. Hundreds of thousands of people want the Tesla Model 3—and have laid down $ 1000 deposits for it—yet the factory can’t produce them quickly enough. Although Tesla hasn’t provided any recent update on production or deliveries, Bloomberg News’ Model 3 tracker—which is informed by government sources, Tesla owners, and social media, including an analysis of VIN data—estimates that Tesla is now up to a production rate of 805 Model 3 sedans per week, with 10,636 produced so far.

In its most recent quarterly financial call, on February 7, CEO Elon Musk pointed to issues with battery-module assembly as being primarily to blame. At that time, Musk said that Tesla hoped to fix some key pinch points and reach a production rate of 2500 cars per week by the end of March. But a week short of that date, it’s still far from that near-term goal. And when it has such a backlog of customers wanting a Model 3—any Model 3—the company has little incentive to deliver on the affordability promise any sooner.


Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of and Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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