Dubbed as the Tesla for the masses, the highly anticipated $35,000 Model 3 is entering production sooner than expected. Elon Musk tweeted on July 2nd that the Tesla Model 3 passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule.
Tesla’s ambitious production schedule was questioned in the auto industry because the car manufacturer had failed to meet similar goals in the past. Musk said in his tweet that the first thirty customers are expected to get their cars on July 28th.
He went on to say that that the production should ramp up to above 1,500 cars per month in September, ultimately reaching 20,000 Model 3 cars per month by December of this year. A production ramp-up like this is typical in the auto industry, and it is a consequence of workers learning new assembly procedures and production equipment being optimized.
The Tesla Model 3 can drive up to 215 miles on a battery charge, it can get from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds, and it has a suite of sensor that supports full autonomy, potentially allowing the car to drive itself. The design of the Model 3 bears striking similarities to other Tesla vehicles. According to Car and Driver, “[The Model 3] is genetically linked to all of its ancestors—both in the styling and in the many pounds of lithium-ion batteries packed into the floor.”
But despite the early start of the production, some customers will have to wait for their orders to be fulfilled until mid-2018 or even later. Tesla started taking $1,000 reservations for the Model 3 in March 2016, amassing a total of 373,000 refundable deposits for the vehicle. The limited production capacity could be an opportunity for rival automakers who are lining up to grab their share of the electric vehicle market.