The Tesla brand, a brand synonymous with cutting edge technology and innovation, has also been synonymous with “expensive.” That is about to change as the auto manufacturer unveiled the new Tesla Model 3, which is expected to be a bit more affordable at around $35,000.
Tesla, most well known for their innovative electric cars, has been a pioneer in using renewable energy and cutting down on carbon emissions, debuted their first model, the Roadster, in 2008. From there, they grew exponentially, most recently releasing the Tesla X. (In contrast to Model 3, the Tesla X costs about $77,000.)
The new Model 3 will give drivers 220 miles of driving range and a zero to 60 time of 5.6 seconds. For about $2,000 more, consumers can also purchase an upgraded version with more speed and 240 miles of range. Despite the lower price, Tesla still emphasized quality and safety in a press release on their website, stating that “although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version, which has the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the U.S. Government.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk slyly made the announcement on Twitter by cryptically announcing “Some Tesla news” on Thursday afternoon and changing his picture to the new Model 3.
Yet despite being one of the world’s leading auto innovators, Musk did announce that due to a lower price point and the likelihood of increased production that the company would be closing “many” of its stores. (Tesla did not specify which ones or in what cities.)
Consumers who do not live near a dealership can order one online. While the prospect of buying a car sight unseen might frighten many people, Tesla explained that buyers will have 7 days or 1,000 miles during which they can return the car for a refund.
Does Tesla have widespread brand recognition to make such a drastic market leap? Only time will tell.