Tesla Has Finally Announced a Model 3 That Actually Starts at $35,000

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It was only last month that Musk said a $35,000 version that could be sold profitably was perhaps six months away. In some states where Tesla has showrooms, such as Texas, final sales contracts are executed online as out-of-state transactions to skirt prohibitions.

As for Tesla's profitability, it's retreating from earlier predictions - with Musk acknowledging Thursday the company will remain in the red in the first quarter.

"Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free".

But in order to sell the vehicle at a lower price, the company will close the majority of their stores and shift sales worldwide to online only.

By switching to an e-commerce model, Tesla estimates that it is able to reduce the cost of its vehicles across the board by about 6 percent when stacking "ongoing cost efficiencies".

The Long Island, New York, financial consultant did his research and ordered the auto online, a process that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is gambling on being attractive to many more buyers in the future. Tesla's website lists 130 current retail locations, with the greatest numbers in California, Florida, Texas, Illinois and NY.

The Tesla website lists the estimated delivery time at two to four weeks, but during a press Q&A session, CEO Elon Musk said that early reservation holders would be prioritized and that new customers may not have their cars delivered until June.

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The Tesla brand, and its ramped up production capabilities, make it likely the cheap (er) Model 3 will turn out to be a popular proposition.

This is seen as something of the holy grail for electric vehicle manufacturers since getting standard model electric vehicles into the hands of the general public is seen as a tipping point to creating a sustainable industry.

The hardware to allow for self-driving has already been installed on every Tesla model since October of 2016, but activating it requires an extra US$4,000 "Autopilot" option, or for buyers to tick the box on a US$7,000 feature labeled "Full Self-Driving". The answer: people who understand civilization could easily collapse if climate change is not addressed in a timely fashion, and people who want the best vehicle ever made by many accounts.

Chief Executive Elon Musk's warning on profit during a conference call with members of the media, which did not include Reuters, contrasted with Tesla's statements last month that it was expecting a "very small" net profit in the first quarter. We are also making it much easier to try out and return a Tesla, so that a test drive prior to purchase isn't needed.

The centerpiece of the announcement revolved around the long-awaited debut of the shorter range base version of the Model 3 sedan starting at the long-promised price of $35,000 - a seemingly positive development...

The new Model 3 "Standard Range" will go 220 miles between recharges, get from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds and top out at 130mph.

His agreement with the SEC, which also saw him step down as chair of Tesla, mandates Musk must seek board approval for any social media posts containing information deemed material to shareholders.

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