When the Tesla Model 3 was first announced, the big deal was that it was going to be an affordable electric car with an entry price of $35,000. But that version hasn't come to market, with Tesla promising that it was on the way and continuing to produce the long range, premium version of the car. Versions that could frequently top $50,000 in price.
But that's not the case anymore. Now you can order the $35,000 Model 3 for deliver in just a few weeks. And, beyond that, there are now
The least expensive Model 3 is rear-wheel drive with a 220-mile range, a 5.6 second run to 60, and a 130 mph top speed. There's also a model dubbed "standard range " with a 240 mile range, a 5.3 second 0 to 60 time, a 140 mph top speed and a more premium interior for $37,000 before incentives.
Interesting, Tesla says that they achieved this through shifting all sales to online only. The company says that you can buy a car in one minute and no longer need to get a test drive. Instead, Tesla will sell you the car, and you have seven days or 1,000 miles to give it a try. If you like it, you keep it. If you hate it, you return it for a refund.
That does mean that many Tesla stores will be shuttering, or, as the company puts it, winding down. The stores that remain will become galleries in crowded areas for people to see, but not to buy, cars.
Tesla is also sending firmware upgrades to current cars, increasing range to 325 miles in a long range model and increasing the top speed of the Model 3 Performance to 162 mph.
What this really means is that we can stop asking Elon Musk where the $35,000 Model 3 is, and instead focus on where the Model Y, Semi, and Roadster are.