Tesla Model 3 Will Have A Driving Range Of At Least 250 Miles
Tesla founder and CEO, Elon Musk, says the new Model III will have a range of at least 250 miles when it arrives in 2017, which is about 50 miles up on his original estimate. First announced in 2014, the new electric sedan will be a smaller, cheaper alternative to the mid-size Tesla Model S. Musk has previously said the Model III will start at $35,000.
At 270 miles, The 2015 Tesla Model S P85D offers the best range in Tesla’s current lineup, but both it and the Model III are well clear of electric vehicles from other companies, most of which struggle to exceed 100 miles on a single charge. Though, Audi promises the up-coming (and much more expensive) 2016 Audi R8 e-tron will have a range of 280 miles.
"There is no agenda to sell to wealthy customers only," said Musk when speaking to The Times-Picayune at the Edison Electric Institute annual convention in New Orleans. He went on to explain that the more expensive Tesla Roadster existed, in part, to pave the way for more-affordable electric cars for a broader audience.
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Why it matters
The new entry-level Tesla’s impressive range is made possible by its batteries, which are not only more efficient, but also cheaper. Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel says he anticipates battery prices to drop by $100 per kWh over the decade, roughly half their current cost.
Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel says he anticipates battery prices to drop by $100 per kWh over the decade, roughly half their current cost.
The company is positioning itself to take full advantage of this trend with its $5-billion Gigafactory 1 facility being constructed near Reno, Nevada, where batteries for both cars and the Powerwall home battery pack will be made.
Even as electric-car range approaches 300 miles, Tesla recognizes that consumers will still get range anxiety. That’s where Tesla’s Supercharger network comes in. The network continues to expand in the U.S., as well as in Europe and China. Recharging time at these stations takes just 30 minutes, but we can probably expect that to get even better with the Model III. Musk also says people will increasingly charge their cars at the same places they charge their phones: their homes and offices.
As electric cars become more affordable, and therefore more common, considerations also have to be made for the increased loads put on electricity infrastructure. Tesla says it’s in the best interest of utility companies to make it easier for consumers to have home charging stations, but also that wind- and solar-generated electricity could help meet demand and eventually provide a sustainable source of energy.
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