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Tesla Model 3
Candy Red Tesla Model 3 trimmed 2.jpg
Tesla Model 3 prototype
Manufacturer Tesla, Inc.
Also called Code name: BlueStar
Assembly Fremont, California, U.S.
Designer Franz von Holzhausen
Body and chassis

US: Mid-size car[1]

EU: Compact executive car (D)
Body style 4-door fastback sedan
Electric range Minimum 215 mi (346 km) range (EPA-rated)[2]
Wheelbase 113 in (287 cm) estimated[3]
Length 184.8 in (469 cm) est.[4]
Width 74.2 in (188 cm) est.[3]
Height 56.5 in (144 cm) est.[3]

The Tesla Model 3 (originally stylized as "☰") is a mid-size all-electric four-door luxury sedan manufactured and marketed by Tesla, Inc.[1] 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).[2] The Model 3 is one of the first cars to have a barren dashboard, with the exception of a center mounted LCD touchscreen.

Limited production of the Model 3 began in July 2017, with the first production vehicle rolling off the assembly line on July 7, 2017,[5][6][7] and the official launch and delivery of the first 30 cars on July 28.[8] Tesla CEO Elon Musk expects production to reach 20,000 vehicles per month by December 2017,[9] or approximately 60 percent of the design capacity of the manufacturing line.[10]

Within a week of the 2016 unveiling, Tesla 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.[2][11] 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.[12][13]


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).[4] 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.[14] 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.[15]

First deliveries are expected in the US by late 2017, with full production in 2018.[2][16] 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.[17][18] Tesla issued US$2 billion in new shares to the stock market to finance the plan.[19]


Original Tesla Model 3 logo

The Model 3 was codenamed Tesla BlueStar in the original business plan in 2007.[20][21] The name Model 3, originally stylized as "Model ☰", was announced on Musk's Twitter account on July 16, 2014,[22] 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".[23] In early 2017, after trademark opposition from Adidas,[24] the horizontal bars stylization was abandoned and changed to a numeric "3".[25]


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" that is targeted toward the mass-market.[26] While technology from Tesla's Model S will be incorporated into the Model 3,[27] it will be 20% smaller than the Model S[28] and have its own unique design.[29] According to Tesla's CTO, JB Straubel, in October 2015 most Tesla engineers were working on the 3 rather than S or X.[30][31] 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,[32] but the design was finished July 27 then it was not publicly released.[33] After the final design of the first Model 3, any further changes would be included in future versions of the Model 3.[34] The glass roof developed by Tesla Glass will be made of the same glass used for roof tiles;[35] a glass roof was introduced on the Model S in late 2016.[36]


About 125 people in line to reserve a Tesla Model 3 in Walnut Creek, California.

In September 2015, Tesla announced that the Model 3 would be unveiled in March 2016.[37] In January 2016, Musk stated that the first official pictures of the car will be revealed at the end of March 2016.[38] Delivery would begin in late 2017 first on the US West Coast and then move eastwards.[39] Potential customers were first able to reserve their spot in the queue at Tesla stores or online on March 31 with a refundable deposit.[40] In February 2016, Tesla indicated that the unveiling would be on March 31, 2016.[41] Employees of Tesla[42][43] and SpaceX were given early access to Model 3 reservation,[44] and about 10,000 signed up without discount,[45] scheduled to receive the first batch of cars.[46][47] 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.[47] Early production is usually more flawed: both the Model S and the Model X had several problems at the start of their production,[48][47] but have since improved.[49]

On the morning of March 31, 2016,[50] 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.[51] Online reservations were opened at 10:23pm ET, and the Model 3 was unveiled just before midnight ET.[52] 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;[53][54] more cars than Tesla had sold by that time.[2] 24 hours after opening reservations, Tesla had advanced orders for over 180,000 units.[55][56] Two days later, Tesla reported 232,000 reservations that represent potential sales of over US$11.5 billion.[2][57]

Comparison of EPA-rated range for electric cars rated up until March 2017 and priced under US$50,000 in the U.S. Only model year 2016 and 2017 cars, and the upcoming Model 3 are included.[2][58]

One week after the unveiling, Tesla reported it had over 325,000 reservations that corresponded to about US$14 billion in potential sales.[11] Musk reported that 5% of reservations correspond to the maximum of two vehicles allowed per customer, "suggesting low levels of speculation",[59] and that 93% of Model 3 reservations are from new buyers who do not currently own a Tesla.[47] Tesla claims "this is the single biggest one-week launch of any product ever",[60] 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.[61] 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.[2]

According to Tesla's global vice-president Robin Ren, China is the second largest market for the Model 3 after the U.S.[62] Tesla reported the number of net reservations totaled about 373,000 as of May 15, 2016, after about 8,000 customer cancellations and about 4,200 reservations canceled by the automaker because these appeared to be duplicates from speculators.[63][64]

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 equivalent to the price of private ownership, and below that of current ridesourcing.[65][66]

Tesla, sometime after late 2017, plans to enter the following countries' markets for the first time with the Model 3: India, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, and Ireland.[67]


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.[21][68] The Roadster has an aluminum chassis and carbon fiber body, and the Model S and Model X have aluminum unit bodies, the Model 3 is mostly steel, with some aluminum.[69][70] Musk has said that Tesla will need to sell 500,000 cars per year (mostly Model 3 cars) to become profitable.[71] Tesla plans to increase the size of Tesla Factory in Fremont, California to accommodate Model 3 production,[72] viewed as a new and large capability.[73][74]

Production stages[edit]

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[10][75] and some experts viewed as difficult.[76][77] 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.[78] 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.[79] According to Tesla in late 2016, the company expected to invest between US$2 billion and US$2.5 billion in capital expenditures ahead of the start of Model 3 production.[79]

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.[80][81] 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.[79]

In October 2016, Tesla stated its production timeline to be on schedule.[82][83][84] 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 began in July 2017 and volume production is schedule to start by September 2017. Tesla plans to ramp up production to exceed 5,000 vehicles per week in Q4 and reaching 20,000 vehicles per week by December 2017.[79]

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.[85] 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.[79]

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 21700-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%.[86]

Tesla Model X (left) and Model 3 (right) at the unveiling event on March 31, 2016


Tesla expects to start customer deliveries in the second half of 2017. Due to the waiting list, customers making a reservation for a Model 3 in May 2016 or later are expected to be able to purchase it at the earliest in late 2018 since production will gradually ramp up to 500,000 cars per year.[75]

In February 2016, before the unveil, Tesla expected to repeat the delivery schedule from Model S and Model X of selling the highest optioned cars (with high margins) first to sooner pay for production equipment.[87] In early 2017, Tesla changed its delivery schedule to produce relatively simpler cars initially in order to reduce production risk - a lesson learned from the complicated Model X production. The first mass-produced Model 3s are rear-wheel drive, while the all-wheel-drive option will first be available at least six months after launch. The performance version of the Model 3 will be launched no earlier than April 2018.[88]

Some of the very first deliveries already took place:

  • 07.09.2017: First production model, source
  • 07.20.2017: New grey production unit spotted new factory, source
  • 07.21.2017: Other 2 new production units, colors blue and "Midnight Silver", source
  • 07.21.2017: Tesla VP shows production unit with drivers power seat, source
  • 07.28.2017: The first 30 units expected to be delivered to the owners, source


The base model is expected to have:

Rear view of the Tesla Model 3 prototype
  • Over 215 mi (346 km) range (EPA-rated)
  • Estimated measurements:
    • L × W × H: 184.8 in × 74.2 in × 56.5 in (469 cm × 188 cm × 144 cm)[4]
    • Wheelbase: 113 in (287 cm)[3]
  • Full self-driving hardware, used for standard active safety measures[89][90]
  • Rear wheel drive[89][91]
  • 5.6 second 0–60 mph (5.8 second 0–100 km/h) acceleration time[89]
  • Front and rear trunks measuring 14 cu ft (400 L) in total[89]
  • Single center mounted 15-inch (381 mm) LCD console display in landscape orientation that combines the instrument cluster and infotainment.[92]
  • Rear roof area is one continuous piece of glass[89]
  • Worldwide electrical voltage and amperage charging compatibility[93]
  • Supercharging capability[89][94] with 400 kWh (about 1,000 mi or 1,600 km) of supercharging credits per year


VIN decoder[edit]

VIN decoder for Tesla Model 3, source
Meaning WMI Make/Line GVWR Restraint system Fuel Type Motor/Drive Unit CD Year Plant Serial Number
Digits #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17
Tesla Model 3 5 Y J 3 E 1 E [A/B] X H F SN#1 SN#2 SN#3 SN#4 SN#5 SN#6
  • Digits #1-#3: WMI - World Manufacturing Identifier: "5YJ = Manufacturer: Tesla Inc."
  • Digit #4: Make/Line/Series: "3 = Tesla Model 3"
  • Digit #5: Body Type and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): "E = Sedan 4 Dr / LHD"
  • Digit #6: Restraint System: "1 = Type 2 manual seatbelts (FR, SR*3) with front airbags, PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)"
  • Digit #7: Fuel Type: "E = Electric"
  • Digit #8: "A = Single Motor – Standard" or "B = Dual Motor - Standard"
  • Digit #9: "X = To be assigned by manufacturer pursuant to 49 CFR § 565.6(c)"
  • Digit #10: Model Year: "H = 2017"
  • Digit #11: Plant of Manufacture: "F = Fremont, CA"
  • Digit #12-#17: "XXXXXX = Unique serial number"


Car design columnist Robert Cumberford said the Model 3 "is an excellent design" and praised the front fascia skin that he thinks is superior to the painted simulated grille of the pre-refresh Model S.[105][106] MotorTrend viewed the nose as intriguing.[3] The Model 3 has been compared to the Ford Model T, for its intended affordability as a volume-produced electric vehicle.[107][108][109]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b EPA Size Class, Page 35 (Updated: July 13, 2017)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Baker, David R. (2016-04-01). "Tesla Model 3 reservations top 232,000". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-09-14.  Tesla Motors had sold 107,000 Model S cars by the end of 2015
  3. ^ a b c d e Vance, Brian (2016-05-10). "Exclusive Tesla Photos and Expert Analysis on Model 3 Design and Tech". Motor Trend. US. Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  4. ^ a b c "Tesla publishes Model 3 vs. Model S specifications in employee-only handout" (Press release). Tesla. 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-23 – via Teslarati Forum. 
  5. ^ "Elon Musk on Twitter". Twitter. 2017-07-02. Retrieved 2017-07-04. 
  6. ^ Hawkins, Andrew (2017-07-07). "Everything you need to know about Tesla Model 3, which is starting production today". The Verge. US. Retrieved 2017-07-07. 
  7. ^ Lambert, Fred (2017-07-08). "Tesla Model 3 - Elon Musk confirms first production unit built". Electrek. Retrieved 2017-07-08. 
  8. ^ Akerstedt, Ida (2017-07-04). "Tesla Model 3 release date 2017 - When is Tesla Model 3 coming out in the UK?". Daily Express. Retrieved 2017-07-04. 
  9. ^ Musk, Elon (2017-07-02). "Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec". @elonmusk. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  10. ^ a b Lienert, Paul; Sage, Alexandria (2016-05-20). "Exclusive: Suppliers question Tesla's goals for Model 3 output". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-05-26. "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 has 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. 
  11. ^ a b Hull, Dana (2016-04-07). "Tesla Says It Received More Than 325,000 Model 3 Reservations". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  12. ^ Lambert, Fred (2017-05-05). "Tesla Says it's Model 3 Reservations are Increasing Every Week - but overall deposits are decreasing". Electrek. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  13. ^ Halvorson, Bengt (2017-05-05). "Tesla's Musk Brags on Model 3, Gives More Details on Model Y and Semi". Car and Driver. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  14. ^ "Model 3 Mega Tweetstorm: Tons of new info on production ramp, dashboard, trunk and more". Electrek. 
  15. ^ "Elon Musk on Twitter". Twitter. 2016-04-03. 
  16. ^ Edelstein, Stephen (2015-03-30). "Tesla pushes investors for a gigafactory in Japan". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  17. ^ Goliya, Kshitiz; Sage, Alexandria (2016-05-04). "Tesla puts pedal to the metal, 500,000 cars planned in 2018". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  18. ^ "Tesla shareholders letter:Tesla First Quarter 2016 Update" (PDF). Tesla Motors. 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  19. ^ Lienert, Paul (2016-05-18). "Tesla plans $2 billion stock sale to accelerate Model 3 program". US: Automotive News. Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  20. ^ Musk, Elon (2014-08-15). "Elon Musk Tweets name confirmation". Twitter. 
  21. ^ a b Welch, David (2007-07-30). "Tesla: A Carmaker With Silicon Valley Spark". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on 2014-09-14. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  22. ^ Musk, Elon (2014-07-16). "Confirmed: Our Gen III car, due out after Model X, will be named Model 3.". Twitter. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  23. ^ Randall, Tom (2016-03-30). "Elon Musk wanted to name Tesla's third vehicle 'Model E' so Tesla's brands would spell SEXY. This and other secrets about his newest car". Bloomberg News. US. Retrieved 2016-04-04. 
  24. ^ "Adidas Says Tesla Logo Is Too Similar To 3-Stripe TM". US: Portfolio Media, Inc. Law360. 2017-02-06. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  25. ^ Lambert, Fred (2017-02-05). "Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk confirms the branding will be numeric – resulting in 'S3X' vehicle lineup". Electrek. US. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  26. ^ "Detroit 2013: Tesla's Family Will Grow". 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 
  27. ^ LaMonica, Martin (2008-09-24). "Tesla's 'Bluestar' to be all-electric family car". CNET. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  28. ^ "12 interesting things we learned from Tesla's Elon Musk this week". The Guardian. 2013-10-25. Archived from the original on 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  29. ^ "Elon Musk: I Want The Model 3 To Be Different, Not Just A Smaller Model S". CleanTechnica. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 
  30. ^ Morris, Charles (2015-10-22). "Tesla shifts focus to Model 3 as engineers prepare to start work at the Gigafactory". Charged EVs. Retrieved 2015-11-07. 
  31. ^ Video on YouTube
  32. ^ "This Is The Tesla Model 3's Biggest Design Fail". US: Teslarati. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  33. ^ Randall, Tom (2016-07-27). "Elon Musk Says It's 'Pencils Down' for Tesla's Model 3". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2016-07-28. 
  34. ^ Ziegler, Chris (2016-06-02). "Tesla Model 3's design will be finished in six weeks, Elon Musk says". The Verge. US. Retrieved 2016-06-05. 
  35. ^ Muoio, Danielle (2016-11-01). "Elon Musk: Tesla is developing a special kind of glass for its Model 3". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-11-02. 
  36. ^ Dow, Jameson (2016-11-04). "Tesla adds new "Glass Roof" Model S option; discontinues P90D". Electrek. Retrieved 2016-11-04. 
  37. ^ Heisler, Yoni (2016-01-07). "Tesla confirms: Model 3 will be unveiled in March". BGR. Retrieved 2016-01-09. 
  38. ^ Ma vie en Tesla la rencontre avec Elon Musk. 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-04-01 – via YouTube. 
  39. ^ "Reserving your Model 3". 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  40. ^ "Model 3 Reservation Deposit". Retrieved 2016-03-22. 
  41. ^ Ziegler, Chris (2016-02-10). "Tesla's Model 3 will be shown on March 31st, 'on schedule' for 2017 production". The Verge. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  42. ^ Weintraub, Seth (2016-03-15). "Tesla Model 3 reservations will begin early for employees, without discounts (Updated)". Electrek. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  43. ^ Weintraub, Seth (2016-03-18). "Tesla employees began reserving their Model 3s last night, sight unseen". Electrek. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
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