|Tesla Model 3|
Tesla Model 3 prototype
|Also called||Code name: BlueStar|
|Assembly||United States: Fremont, California (Tesla Factory)|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact premium car (C)|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Related||Tesla Model S|
|Electric range||Minimum 215 mi (346 km) range (EPA-rated)|
|Wheelbase||2,870 mm (113 in) est.|
|Length||4,694 mm (184.8 in)|
|Width||1,885 mm (74.2 in) est.|
|Height||1,435 mm (56.5 in) est.|
The Tesla Model 3 is an upcoming all-electric four-door compact sedan to be manufactured and marketed by Tesla, Inc. Unveiled on March 31, 2016, the Model 3 was expected by Tesla officials to deliver an all-electric range of over 215 miles (346 km), with base model pricing in the U.S. starting at US$35,000 before applicable U.S. government incentives. The Model 3 will be one of the first cars to feature a barren dash, with the exception of a center touchscreen LCD.
Limited production of the Model 3 is scheduled to begin in July 2017. Weekly production is planned to exceed 5,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, and 10,000 vehicles in 2018.
Within a week of the unveiling, company officials said they had taken 325,000 Model 3 reservations, more than triple the number of Model S sedans Tesla had sold by the end of 2015. These reservations represent potential sales of over US$14 billion. As of May 15, 2016[update], Tesla had taken about 373,000 reservations. By May 2017, reservations were estimated to be between 400,000 and 500,000; though Tesla did not give a number in its quarterly finance report.
Company officials said the base model of the all-electric car will have a range of over 215 miles (346 km), a five-passenger seating capacity, front and rear trunks, and will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds (0 to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds). Tesla's Model 3 designed to achieve a "5-Star Safety Rating" and is expected to have a drag coefficient of Cd=0.21. This will be lower than the Tesla Model S drag coefficient of Cd=0.24, which in 2014 was the lowest among current production cars. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the rear-wheel-drive base model would have great traction on ice because of the fast torque response of the electric motor.
During the unveiling, Tesla announced the Model 3's price starting at US$35,000 before applicable government incentives. With options, Musk predicted an average sale price closer to US$42,000. First deliveries are expected in the US by late 2017, with full production in 2018. As a result of the high demand for Model 3, in May 2016 Tesla announced its decision to advance its 500,000 total unit build plan (combined for Model S, Model X, and Model 3) to 2018, two years earlier than previously planned, in order to accelerate its target for Model 3 output. Tesla issued US$2 billion in new shares to the stock market to finance the plan.
The Model 3 was codenamed Tesla BlueStar in the original business plan in 2007. The name Model 3, originally stylized as "Model ☰", was announced on Musk's Twitter account on July 16, 2014, however the intended name was Model E that was abandoned due to Ford's trademark on the name; Musk wanted the three current models to spell SEX, but settled with "S3X". In early 2017, after trademark opposition from Adidas, the horizontal bars stylization was abandoned and changed to a numeric "3".
In 2013, design chief Franz von Holzhausen stated that the Model 3 will "be an Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class type of vehicle that will offer everything: range, affordability, and performance with a starting price of US$30,000" that is targeted toward the mass-market. While technology from Tesla's Model S will be incorporated into the Model 3, it will be 20% smaller than the Model S and have its own unique design. According to Tesla's CTO, JB Straubel, in October 2015 most Tesla engineers were working on the 3 rather than S or X. Since electric cars have lower cooling needs than combustion cars, the Model 3 does not have a front grille. Musk intended for the final design to be released on June 30, but the design was finished July 27 then it was not publicly released. After the final design of the first Model 3, any further features would be included in future versions of the 3. The glass roof developed by Tesla Glass will be made of the same glass used for roof tiles; a glass roof was introduced on the Model S in late 2016.
In September 2015, Tesla announced that the Model 3 would be unveiled in March 2016. In January 2016, Musk stated that the first official pictures of the car will be revealed at the end of March 2016. Delivery would begin in late 2017 first on the US West Coast and then move eastwards. Potential customers were first able to reserve their spot in the queue at Tesla stores or online on March 31 with a refundable deposit of US$1,000. In February 2016, Tesla indicated that the unveiling would be on March 31, 2016. Employees of Tesla and SpaceX were given early access to Model 3 reservation, and about 10,000 signed up without discount, scheduled to receive the first batch of cars. Current owners of Tesla vehicles will get priority sales after employees but before the general public, as a reward for helping pay for the development of the Model 3. Early production is usually more flawed: both the Model S and the Model X had several problems at the start of their production, but have since improved.
On the morning of March 31, 2016, tens of thousands of people were reported waiting in lines to place the refundable deposit to reserve a Model 3 for 2017 delivery, even though they had not yet seen the car unveiled. Online reservations were opened at 10:23pm ET, and the Model 3 was unveiled just before midnight ET. During the Model 3 unveil event, it was revealed that over 115,000 people had reserved the Model 3 in less than 24 hours prior to the unveiling event; more cars than Tesla had sold by that time. 24 hours after opening reservations, Tesla had advanced orders for over 180,000 units. Two days later, Tesla reported 232,000 reservations that represent potential sales of over US$11.5 billion.
One week after the unveiling, Tesla reported it had over 325,000 reservations that corresponded to about US$14 billion in potential sales. Musk reported that 5% of reservations correspond to the maximum of two vehicles allowed per customer, "suggesting low levels of speculation", and that 93% of Model 3 reservations are from new buyers who do not currently own a Tesla. Tesla claims "this is the single biggest one-week launch of any product ever", however other product sales may eclipse this in terms of units sold (but not price), as the iPhone 6 sold over 4 million units in 24 hours. According to Bloomberg News and others, "the Model 3's unveiling was unique in the 100-year history of the mass-market automobile." The previous record was the 1955 Citroën DS that had 80,000 deposits during the ten days of the Paris Auto Show, while the Model 3 had 232,000 reservations in two days.
According to Tesla’s global vice-president Robin Ren, China is the second largest market for the Model 3 after the U.S. Tesla reported the number of net reservations totaled about 373,000 as of May 15, 2016[update], after about 8,000 customer cancellations and about 4,200 reservations canceled by the automaker because these appeared to be duplicates from speculators.
A study of potentially self-driving ridesharing Model 3s indicate that around 30,000 Model 3s could supply 10% of car trips around Austin, Texas at a cost of $0.663 per mile ($0.412/km), equivalent to the price of private ownership, and below that of current ridesourcing.
The company plans for the Model 3 are part of Tesla's three step strategy to start at high price and move progressively towards lower cost, where the battery and electric drivetrain technology would be developed and paid for through sales of the Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model S vehicles. Whereas the Roadster used an aluminium chassis and carbon fiber body, and the Model S and X use aluminium for their unit body, the Model 3 is made out of a combination of steel and aluminium, steel being the dominant material. Musk has said that Tesla will need to sell 500,000 cars per year (mostly Model 3) to become profitable. Tesla plans to increase the size of Tesla Factory in Fremont, California to accommodate Model 3 production, viewed as a new and large capability.
Tesla indicated to suppliers that it intended to double earlier announced Model 3 production targets to 100,000 in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018 due to demand, which suppliers and some experts viewed as difficult. In Tesla Factory, paint lines for 500,000 cars were begun in 2015, and some stamping equipment for the Model 3 was operational in August 2016. Tesla's acquisition of Grohmann Engineering, a world leader in highly-automated methods of manufacturing, was completed in January 2017. This acquisition launches Tesla Advanced Automation Germany, which will help Tesla innovate manufacturing processes to be used initially in Model 3 production. According to Tesla, the company expects to invest between US$2 billion and US$2.5 billion in capital expenditures ahead of the start of Model 3 production.
After the two Alpha prototypes (silver and black; red is a shell) were shown in April 2016, Tesla finished the design in late July 2016. Tesla ordered parts equivalent to 300 Beta prototypes in August 2016, preparing for development of the assembly line. Once the production line is operational, the factory can make release candidates for testing before actual production begins. Tesla began building Model 3 prototypes in early February 2017 as part of the testing of the vehicle design and manufacturing processes. Tesla reported that initial crash test results have been positive.
In October 2016, Tesla stated its production timeline to be on schedule. Again in February 2017, Tesla reported that vehicle development, supply chain and manufacturing are on track to support volume deliveries of the Model 3 in the second half of 2017. Limited vehicle production is scheduled to begin in July 2017, and volume production by September 2017. Tesla plans to ramp up production to exceed 5,000 vehicles per week at some point in the fourth quarter, and 10,000 vehicles per week at some point in 2018.
The Gigafactory is intended to produce battery packs for Model 3, but it was announced at the Nevada State of the State Address in January 2017 that Tesla will also manufacture drive units at the Gigafactory. In February 2017, Tesla reported that installation of Model 3 manufacturing equipment is underway in the Fremont factory and at Gigafactory 1, where in January, production of battery cells for energy storage products began, which have the same form-factor as the cells that will be used in Model 3.
The Model 3 battery options will max out at 75 kWh due to the vehicle’s shorter wheelbase, relative to the larger Model S and Model X which can accommodate up to a 100 kWh battery pack size. The 2170-size lithium-ion cells have a higher energy density than the 18650-size lithium-ion cells used in previous Tesla vehicles by as much as 30%.
Tesla expects to start customer deliveries in the second half of 2017. Due to the waiting list, customers preordering a Model 3 in May 2016 are expected to be able to purchase it at the earliest in late 2018. Any new reservations made after mid-2016 will be delivered in 2018 or later as production at Tesla ramps up to 500,000 cars per year.
In February 2016, before the unveil, Tesla expected to repeat the delivery schedule from Model S and X of selling the highest optioned cars (with high margins) first to sooner pay for production equipment. In early 2017, Tesla changed its delivery schedule to produce simpler cars initially in order to reduce production risk - a lesson learned from the complicated Model X production. The first Model 3 cars will be rear-wheel drive, while the all-wheel-drive option will be available at least six months after launch. The performance version of the Model 3 will be launched no earlier than April 2018.
Initially, Model 3 cars will only be available with limited options such as selecting color, wheel size and Autopilot features; the configurator tool for Model 3 cars is scheduled to be online in late July 2017.
The base model is expected to have:
Robert Cumberford, a widely known car design critic, says the Model 3 "is an excellent design" and praised the front fascia skin that he thinks is superior to the painted surrogate grille of the pre-refresh Model S. MotorTrend viewed the nose as intriguing. The Model 3 has been compared to the Ford Model T, for its intended affordability as a volume-produced electric vehicle.
over 10,000 reservations were placed by employees
Tesla will start by delivering the vehicles to employees in California (with Tesla and SpaceX it could be up to as many as 10,000 cars)
Musk has stated that a full 93% of Model 3 pre-orders are from new buyers who do not currently own a Tesla. ..employees of both Tesla and SpaceX will get order priority on the Model 3. Also, the company is giving priority to current Tesla owners (of a Model X, Model S, or Roadster) before the general public. ..new cars (particularly new Teslas) tend to have a few glitches early on in their production cycles.
When a car model is brand new or “completely redesigned,” that can mean new parts, new systems—and new problems.
“We are not aware of any precedent of this level of order interest for any other car,” Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst, wrote in a research note.
Mr. Musk has said that the company wouldn't be profitable unless its sells 500,000 vehicles annually by 2020. 500,000 vehicle deliveries is the 2020 goal that is purely dependent on Tesla's much affordable, compact EV, the Model 3, which is slated for 2017-end and reliant on the under-construction battery producing factory.
Getting from something like 50,000 to 500,000 units is a big, big step
it has no experience in manufacturing vehicles at the volumes anticipated for the Model 3.. ..will need to develop “efficient, automated, low-cost manufacturing capabilities, processes and supply chains necessary to support such volumes”
"Now, will we actually be able to achieve volume production on July 1 next year? Of course not. The reason is that even if 99 percent of the internally produced items and supplier items are available on July 1, we still cannot produce the car because you cannot produce a car that is missing 1 percent of its components", Musk said. Under ideal conditions, automakers have launched new assembly lines in 18 months, but they typically take two to three years after the first tooling and supply contracts are signed. Tesla says the Model 3 features 6,000 to 7,000 unique components, fewer than the typical automobile with a combustion engine and the Model S, which has more than 8,000 parts.
July 1st, 2017 "impossible date". someone ordering a Model 3 today would have a chance of having it delivered by the end of 2018.
We continue to forecast a Model 3 launch at the very end of 2018 (more than 1 year later than company target) with 60k units in 2019 and 130k units in 2020.
Timeline is tough but not out of line with what GM did on the Bolt EV
Last year, the company started constructing the new paint shop which could paint 500,000 cars a year
it doesn’t mean that the number of parts divided by the number of parts per vehicle necessarily means Tesla will build a fleet of 300 since some of the parts will be used for process validation outside of prototypes and other processes
Once the assembly line is installed following the beta prototype completion, the automaker produces a several “release candidates.”
Musk : we're not taking any action that would cause the Model 3 timeline to be extended in any way. : We're still highly confident of reaching volume production in the second half of next year.
Our default plan as we've done in the past is that the initial sales are relatively highly optioned versions of the car, because we've got to pay back the investment of the tooling and everything, so it makes sense to have the higher optioned versions first. That's what we did with the S and obviously again with the X.
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