The midrange Model 3 should be welcome news for those who can't afford to shell out upward of $60,000 for an electric auto.
But that price takes into account federal and state tax rebates.
The long-promised $35,000 Tesla Model 3 won't appear on the automaker's menu until sometime in 2019, but until then Tesla hopes that a midrange version will satisfy those who don't want to spend on one of the more expensive flavors.
The cheaper "standard-range" Model 3 is still absent from the new, simplified ordering page, and the company has made no secret of the fact that it can not afford to lose money selling the cheaper cars, no matter the demand. It estimates the actual price, after estimated savings, at closer to $33,000, including gas savings, for a rear-wheel drive version with an estimated 260-mile range and a 5.6-second race to 60 miles an hour.
To get the Mid Range into production quicker than previously anticipated, Tesla uses the same battery as the Long Range but packs it with fewer cells. To take advantage of the full $7,500 federal tax incentive, however, customers must take delivery of the vehicle by December 31, 2018. Those include a $7,500 federal subsidy for electric vehicles delivered on or before December 31, which gets cut in half on January 1. It's likely that some Model 3 customers who pre-ordered the $35,000 Model 3 in early 2016 won't benefit from any tax credit as a result. Tesla has said that it would not manufacture the base-level version of the Model 3 this year. Tesla compiled a quarter million reservations within days, but has not been able to deliver on that sticker price.
Tesla is promising deliveries in four to eight weeks. In May he hinted a late summer or fall arrival and said that shipping the most affordable Model 3 right away would "cause Tesla to lose money and die".