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Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior High Resolution
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Tesla’s first electric car for the masses

Say what you will about Tesla – the company’s ambition is undeniable. Founded in 2003, the California-based electric carmaker set out with the goal of overturning the auto industry status quo and hastening “the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” To that end, Tesla’s latest play (and arguably its more important) is called the Model 3. Framed as a more affordable alternative to the highly successful Model S full-size sedan and Model X SUV, there’s no shortage of excitement behind the more compact 3, and now, after countless rumors and practically unending speculation, the veil has been lifted. Following a massive live streaming event celebrating the handover of the first Model 3’s off the production line, it was revealed that buyers get two trim levels to pick from, with as much as 310 miles per charge and a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds for the range-topper.

But, as you might expect, there’s a whole lotta footnotes that go along with the above-mentioned specs. For starters, actually getting a Model 3 into your driveway is no simple endeavor. Following a brief pre-production reveal in April of 2016, an estimated 400,000 people plunked down $1,000 for a pre-order, and that means if you don’t have a spot in line, it’s gonna be a while. Then there’s the list of ultra-pricey extras that add significant weight to the bottom line. Simply put, the question remains – does the Model 3 live up to the hype? Read on to find out.

Updated 08/23/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

Continue reading to learn more about the Tesla Model 3.

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Latest Tesla Model 3 news and reviews:

Tesla Can't Ramp Up Model 3 Production Until Elon Musk Gets All the Tooling From Germany

Tesla Can’t Ramp Up Model 3 Production Until Elon Musk Gets All the Tooling From Germany

It’s another logistical issue from a company that has a long list of delays

It’s the classic case of Tesla being Tesla. The electric car maker says that production of the Model 3 is on track to meet its first-quarter targets. The only problem is that the tools it needs to actually build the Model 3 are still not in its Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada. They’re still 5,429 miles away in Dausfeld, Germany. It might seem like an easy problem to solve because Tesla could just have them shipped from Germany, it’s still a long distance to ship a lot of hardware that needs to be disassembled, shipped, and assembled once it hits its destination.

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Tesla Insiders Claim More Model 3 Setbacks Imminent; Tesla Says the Opposite

Tesla Insiders Claim More Model 3 Setbacks Imminent; Tesla Says the Opposite

We’ll see who’s telling the truth in the coming months

For all the gains Tesla has made as a company, the electric car maker still can’t seem to get out of its own way when it comes to meeting its production timetables. Production of the Model X was delayed for a few years and the same is happening with the Model 3. Now, MSNBC is reporting that Tesla employees are concerned that more production delays are on the horizon because of a slew of issues happening inside Tesla’s Gigafactory, including the alarming number of inexperienced workers and the slow pace of manually assembling the car’s batteries.

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An AWD Version of the Tesla Model 3 Could Break Cover in Spring 2018

An AWD Version of the Tesla Model 3 Could Break Cover in Spring 2018

Then again, this is Tesla we’re talking about so expect some delays

An all-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3 has been in the cards for some time. We all know it’s coming; we just don’t know when it’s coming. Turns out, it could arrive sooner than we thought because Tesla appears to be rolling out the dual-motor all-wheel drive Model 3 as early as the Spring of 2018. Unless your calendars are acting up, the dual-motor Model 3 could arrive as early as March 2018 or as late as June 2018.

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Tesla Employee Crashes Model 3, Charged with DUI After Run-in with a Deer

Tesla Employee Crashes Model 3, Charged with DUI After Run-in with a Deer

It can’t be stressed enough: do NOT drive when you’re intoxicated

A Tesla employee found himself in hot water after crashing a Model 3 in California. Adding insult to injury, the man, identified as 38-year-old Colin Flynn, was also charged with DUI.

Flynn’s harrowing adventure occurred in the early morning of Saturday, January 13. According to police reports, the Tesla employee overshot a turn on a road in Morgan Hill, California, sending the car flying around 70 feet before crashing into the far bank of Coyote Creek.

Local police arrived shortly afterwards to find Flynn, unhurt from the crash. The Tesla told the police that the crash occurred after he swerved to avoid a deer, and not because he reeked of alcohol smell. The police asked him to take a breathalyzer test, and when he refused, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and transported to the local precinct. Once there, Flynn also refused to have blood work done, as required by California law in cases like this. That discretion earned him a charge of obstruction. It wasn’t until officers obtained a search warrant that Flynn decided to cooperate.

As for the Model 3, the electric car was eventually removed from the creek after spending a few hours retrieving it. Authorities also advised all drivers to keep a lookout for the deer that supposedly caused Flynn to fly his Model 3 into the bank of a creek.

Most importantly, don’t drink and drive, folks.

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Bait & Switch: Tesla Swaps Model 3 Headliner from Alcantara to Textile

Bait & Switch: Tesla Swaps Model 3 Headliner from Alcantara to Textile

Can somebody give us an explanation?

Tesla has found itself in the middle of a new controversy, though the issue has nothing to do with its autonomous driving technology going awry. The issue at hand revolves around the Model 3’s headliner and the material that’s being used on it. Apparently, some owners who have taken delivery of their Model 3’s were surprised to see that the headliner in their cars was covered by weaved textile as opposed to Alcantara.

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Survey: Ford Mustang, Tesla Top List Of Most Desirable Cars of Average Americans

Survey: Ford Mustang, Tesla Top List Of Most Desirable Cars of Average Americans

Gone are the days when Ferrari and Lamborghini topped lists like this

A recent survey conducted by marketing agency Digital Third Coast and automotive products company Golden Eagle revealed the average car tastes of most Americans. The survey had some predictable results, most notably the Ford Mustang staking claim as the often-stated “dream car” among most Americans. Surprisingly, though, Tesla came in second, followed by a Jeep, a Corvette, and a Camaro.

The sample size of the survey is small - only 2,000 Americans participated - relative to the study’s topic, but it did paint a seemingly accurate picture of the car tastes of most Americans. It’s not surprising that baby boomers still long to own a Chevrolet Corvette while Gen-Xer’s are still captivated by the mystique of the Chevrolet Camaro. For their part, millennials identified Tesla as their dream cars, an understandable answer considering that they’re literally coming into adulthood at the same time as Tesla is coming into its own as a legitimate automaker.

The survey also revealed that Tesla has a foothold in the Northwest, Southwest, and Pacific as the dream car among Americans living in those regions. The Mustang is well-represented by folks in the Midwest and Southeast while those living in the Mountain regions surprisingly identified the Range Rover over any kind of Jeep as their dream cars.

Tesla continues to pop up at various times in the survey, but there is a good bit of irony in the revelation that most people who identified themselves as “not knowledgeable” about cars chose the electric car maker as their dream car. It’s likely that they identify Teslas, whether it’s the Model S, Model X, or Model 3, as the cars of the future, in large part because of the company’s status as a pioneer in electrification and autonomous driving technology. These people are less captivated by the mechanical and technical intricacies of a car as they are about the possibility of going to work while the car drives them there autonomously.

On the flip side, those who identified themselves as “car experts” chose the Mustang as their dream car. Hardly a surprise there, either.

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Shocker: Tesla Misses Model 3 Goals; Delays Production Again

Shocker: Tesla Misses Model 3 Goals; Delays Production Again

Goal reduced from 5,000 to 2,500 for Q1 2018 production

Tesla is no stranger to production woes as both the original Model S and the trendy Model X experienced major delays early on, so it comes as no surprise the automaker announced the budget-friendly Model 3’s production volume won’t be ramping up to the 5,000-unit-per-week goal until the second quarter of 2018. That goal was originally set for December of 2017, but production delays sacked those plans. Despite the delays, Tesla still delivered 1,550 Model 3s in Q4 of 2017.

Continue reading for more on Tesla’s production woes.

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Tesla Could Limit Use of Superchargers for Commercial Use

Tesla Could Limit Use of Superchargers for Commercial Use

Taxi fleets that use Tesla models are likely the ones that will most be affected

Tesla is laying down the law on all new vehicles it sells that will be used for commercial purposes. The California-based electric car maker has revealed that these vehicles will be restricted from using its Supercharger network to avoid abusive use by owners. The company has already updated its legal page to reflect this change in policy, but with commercial operators of Tesla vehicles still using these Superchargers for a whole range of other purposes, the automaker could take “additional action” to protect the availability of the Superchargers.

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Tesla Finally Gives Early Model 3 Owners a Radio and a Trip Odometer

Tesla Finally Gives Early Model 3 Owners a Radio and a Trip Odometer

Its time to right a few wrongs, don’t you think?

The Tesla Model 3 has already been criticized for being pretty basic, but the biggest criticism it got was that there was no GM radio and no odometer – two basic features that have been around for decades in every car produced. Well, with standard over-the-air updates, Tesla has finally added a trip odometer and FM radio. Whether or not these were originally intended to be paid options in the future, or simply overlooked remains to be seen, and even sounds a little absurd to have to question, but they are now considered standard equipment, which makes the latest OTA and win-win. In addition to these two features, the OTA update also brings in new apps that providing information on energy consumption and tire pressure monitoring. And, it also gets the “easy entry and exit” feature found on the Tesla Model S and Model X.

Remember, current Model 3 owners are, for the most part, Tesla employees or “members of the family” that were able to purchase early examples in order to give near-immediate feedback, but customer deliveries are expected to kick off by the turn of the year. Customers who will receive initial deliveries in the coming weeks should expect somewhat routine updates that will continue to add features and software honing over the next year or so at the least.

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Tesla Customer Gets a Model 3 Owner's Manual from Tesla Roadside Assistance

Tesla Customer Gets a Model 3 Owner’s Manual from Tesla Roadside Assistance

Check it out – 160 pages of Tesla all for you

These days, it’s not uncommon for documents, images, or just about anything else pertaining to a new car to leak ahead of its debut. Sometimes it’s clearly at the hands of an Automaker (think the Jeep JL leaks or the Lamborghini Urus Leak from the other day), and other times it’s because some idiot behind a computer isn’t paying attention. In the case of the Model 3 owner’s manual, which we’ve yet to see in its entirety until now, it’s most likely the latter. What started out as a call to roadside assistance resulted in a member of the Tesla 3 Owner’s Club on Facebook getting a full, seemly official PDF version of the owner’s manual. And, it details everything from start to finish, including the new bi-directional thumb buttons, exterior mirror adjustments, Autopilot (just a copy and paste from other manuals,) hub cab (what we know as “aero caps”) removal and installation, and even motor information.

That’s right, even motor information is included, which tells us that the Model 3’s motor runs at a nominal voltage of 370 Volts with a maximum current of 800 Amps. Maximum motor speed is 17,900 rpm, while motor power is pegged at 165 kW or 221 horsepower. This is nothing new, of course, but what is new is the maximum wheel torque output – a mind-blowing 3,700 Nm or 2,725.980 pound-feet. Of course, that’s the glory of electric motors and electric vehicles in general – all of that gut-wrenching, near instantaneous torque on demand. And, even the Model 3 has plenty of that.

Of course, having enough torque stop the rotation of the earth is one thing, but it should be noted that as of the time of the manual’s publication, towing wasn’t permitted. So, while it could tow a skyscraper from one side of NYC to the other with all of that torque, it’s not a good idea to try right now. Then again, the manual says that it “currently” doesn’t support towing, which means it could, in the future, honor Musk’s previous promise that it would be able to. Finally, the manual confirms that the battery pack has a rated capacity of 75 kWh, which is exactly what we were expecting after previous leaks of EPA documents.

Check out the owner’s manual for yourself below – if you’re a reservation holder or just a curious reader, there’s plenty of material there to help you get familiar with the mini Model S.

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Tesla is Hemorrhaging Money at an Alarming Rate

Tesla is Hemorrhaging Money at an Alarming Rate

We’re talking about $8,000 a minute here

Elon Musk may have surprised the world by debuting the next Tesla Roadster side-by-side with the new Tesla Semi, but that’s not the biggest surprise to come out of the Tesla garage. The title of “biggest surprise” would be reserved for the fact that the company is burning through $8,000 per minute, $480,000 per hour, or $1 billion per quarter. And, at the current rate of expenditure, it is predicted that the company will run out of cash as soon as August of next year.

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Pops' Rants: Volvo Shamelessly Reheated an Old Concept to Revive Polestar

Pops’ Rants: Volvo Shamelessly Reheated an Old Concept to Revive Polestar

And Tesla complains too much about too many things

As much as I’m in love with the 1950s and 1960s when it comes to car designs, the automotive industry is living a golden era as we speak. The variety is incredible, there are plenty of attractive offers at dealerships, and nearly every car, no matter how affordable, packs a ton of tech that makes life behind the steering wheel easier. But this golden era also comes with a lot of bullshit, ranging from fancy and unnecessary PR talk to bragging about performance figures that aren’t that great. And of course, trying to justify overpriced special-edition model with extra features that are either barely noticeable or useless. Which brings me to the latest car that’s getting everyone excited: the Polestar 1.

A while back Volvo decided that Polestar should also make its own cars besides tuning what’s already available in dealerships. Polestar delivered and announced the 1. I mean the Polestar 1, because the "1" nameplate doesn’t make much sense by itself. Everyone got excited! Oh my God, pretty coupe, powerful hybrid drivetrain, shut up and take my money! Well no, the Polestar 1 doesn’t deserve all the attention. And it doesn’t deserve your hard-earned money. Let me explain.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Ring in 2018 Already: 10 Models We're Dying To See When The Calendar Flips A Page

Ring in 2018 Already: 10 Models We’re Dying To See When The Calendar Flips A Page

Are you ready to ring in the new year with a car purchase or two?

With just a little over two months left before we say adieu to 2017, the wait for all 2018 model releases is hitting fever pitch. We can’t promise to make time move faster than it does, but what we can do is at least prepare everyone for what’s to come when the new year arrives. That said, let me be the first to say that 2018 is going to be a wild year for the auto industry, as old guards are retired, existing nameplates get their redesigns, and most importantly, all-new models are unleashed into the world.

Who knows, 2018 might even be the year when we take a big leap in electric and autonomous technology. A lot of things are at play when the new year rolls around so to keep the anticipation building, do check out this list of some of the hottest and most highly anticipated models to hit the streets next year. We can’t say that we like one of these models better over the other, but at least we’re giving you a good preview of what’s to come. Prepare those checkbooks, ladies and gentlemen, because some of these cars won’t come cheap.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Shocker! Elon Musk May Delay Tesla Model 3 Production

Shocker! Elon Musk May Delay Tesla Model 3 Production

It may be a great company and all, but Tesla is NEVER on time

Elon Musk is, undeniably, a very busy and ambitious man. But, it comes at a cost. In this case, that cost is the reliability of his word when it comes to timetables. It almost seems as if every time we turn around Tesla is missing one of its targets, and now, that’s about to happen again. Not only did Elon Musk tweet that its semi-truck unveiling would be pushed back, but that the Model 3 was “deep in production hell.” You know what that means? It means you’re probably not going to get your Model 3 when the company said you would. When a customer asked Musk if he would get his Model 3 this year, Musk’s reply was a little sketchy: “December will be a big month, so probably, but it is impossible to be certain right now.”

The truth is, Tesla is in some hot water as far as Model 3 production goes. Musk had originally projected that Tesla would produce 1,500 examples of the Model 3 in the third quarter but fell far short, with official numbers stopping at 260. To add to that, of those 260, only 220 of them were actually delivered. Apparently, there is a huge bottleneck happening, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that some parts for the Model 3 were being made by hand back in September. Of course, this isn’t the only thing holding the company back, as Musk now has a deal with Puerto Rico to help bring power back to the island after it was ravaged by mother nature . As such, some sources have also been diverted to increasing Tesla battery production.

Keep reading to learn more

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We're Just Going to Call China Home of the EV

We’re Just Going to Call China Home of the EV

EV charging infrastructure is being developed at an alarming rate

Everyone knows that Tesla calls California home – and why shouldn’t it, it’s the hardest state in the country and home to, arguably, the hardest emissions regulations on the planet. It’s the perfect home for a company that hopes to eventually kill off the ICE to make way for an entire world of all-electric cars that silently zoom from city to city without nothing more than a destination mentioned by its human owner. One would think that the home of an automaker like Tesla would also be the place that sees the biggest push for the infrastructure required to keep those EVs going down the road, right? Well, with the announcement of the two new, 4-stall Supercharger stations in California (which would be the biggest in the world) we thought that was true. Until now, that is.

See, our friends over at Electrek have managed to procure a number of photos from an underground construction site in Shangai that promises 50 stalls (10 more the current record holder.) If that system happens to suck in as much power as the other systems around the world, the power output could surpass 3 megawatts of power. After all, it takes a lot of power to charge 50 Teslas at once. And, while this is pretty big news, it’s really not that exciting. After all, China has always been a major part of Tesla’s plan to have more than 10,000 Supercharges in service globally. And, China sales in 2016 managed to topple more than $1 billion and the first quarter of 2017 was a massive carryover in performance.

Eventually, Tesla will establish its own manufacturing front somewhere in China, which should help to push EV sales in the market even further than before. For a country so infatuated with the EV all of this is really good news. But, will 50 more Superchargers, or the 1,000 Tesla hopes to have in place by the turn of the year be enough to meet the current charger demand in the country or does 2018 need to be an even bigger year? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Tesla Thinks Model 3 Owners Don't Listen to Music

Tesla Thinks Model 3 Owners Don’t Listen to Music

There’s no AM/FM, Sirius XM, Bluetooth, or USB audio streaming

In what can be called the grandest oversight in Tesla history, the new Model 3 has only a single source for listening to music – Slacker Radio. Customers are left without what most sane people would consider basic features. There’s no AM or FM radio, meaning no local radio stations or your favorite DJ. There is no Sirius XM connection, meaning no commercial-free music playable from coast to coast. Naturally, there’s no CD player, meaning your sweet mixed tape from 1999 won’t work. Worse yet, the Model 3’s built-in Bluetooth connectivity is limited to only phone calls and its available four USB ports are for charging only. Talk about awkward silence.

According to The Drive, Slacker Radio is currently the only method Model 3 owners have to listen to music. Slacker isn’t affiliated with or owned by Tesla – at least not publically. Users can choose a free subscription to Slacker or pay upwards of $10 per month for premium content. Worse still, Slacker is said to have only a quarter of the music library Spotify users enjoy. The Internet radio service streams to the Model 3 using cellular networks, which Tesla offers free for the first four years of ownership. After that, owners must cover that cost, too.

While The Drive says the Model 3’s radio situation “likely won’t be a dealbreaker for potential owners,” I have to disagree. Model 3 ownership is already a big step in a new direction for most, with a change in lifestyle and trip-planning already baked in. Add to that the extremely limited number of audio sources, and things could get shaky for someone on the fence about signing the dotted line.

What do you think? Would this news make you less likely to buy a Tesla Model 3? Do you love Slacker and couldn’t care less? Let us know in the comments below.

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2018 Tesla Model 3

2018 Tesla Model 3

Tesla’s first electric car for the masses

Say what you will about Tesla – the company’s ambition is undeniable. Founded in 2003, the California-based electric carmaker set out with the goal of overturning the auto industry status quo and hastening “the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” To that end, Tesla’s latest play (and arguably its more important) is called the Model 3. Framed as a more affordable alternative to the highly successful Model S full-size sedan and Model X SUV, there’s no shortage of excitement behind the more compact 3, and now, after countless rumors and practically unending speculation, the veil has been lifted. Following a massive live streaming event celebrating the handover of the first Model 3’s off the production line, it was revealed that buyers get two trim levels to pick from, with as much as 310 miles per charge and a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds for the range-topper.

But, as you might expect, there’s a whole lotta footnotes that go along with the above-mentioned specs. For starters, actually getting a Model 3 into your driveway is no simple endeavor. Following a brief pre-production reveal in April of 2016, an estimated 400,000 people plunked down $1,000 for a pre-order, and that means if you don’t have a spot in line, it’s gonna be a while. Then there’s the list of ultra-pricey extras that add significant weight to the bottom line. Simply put, the question remains – does the Model 3 live up to the hype? Read on to find out.

Updated 08/23/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.

Continue reading to learn more about the Tesla Model 3.

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Tesla Model 3 Production Funded as Investors Beg Elon Musk to Take Their Money

Tesla Model 3 Production Funded as Investors Beg Elon Musk to Take Their Money

Obviously, investors have a lot of faith in Mr. Musk.

The car business is an expensive one, and moving things in the right condition can be quite costly. As such, Tesla was in a bit of a bind when it came to funding Model 3 production – something that could have thrown a monkey wrench into Elon’s whole plan to ramp up production to 500,000 units by the end of 2018. But, when it comes to money, people quite literally trip over their own feet in a rush to fund the pockets of one of the world’s elite and most interesting businessmen. So intensely, as a matter of fact, that it took him just four hours last week to raise nearly $600,000 of the $1.5 billion he was seeking. It’s only been a week since WonderBoy sold more than a half-million worth of Junk bonds to investors, and now we’re seeing word that Tesla’s fearless leader has managed to hit his goal, and even surpass it, securing a total of $1.8 billion in “eight-year unsecured bonds at a rate of 5.30 percent.”

So, at this point, everything looks to be moving full steam ahead for Tesla, thanks to its huge influx of cash. One has to commend Musk for being able to raise so much so quickly. But, it’s not without its risk. If things happen to go south, investors could take a huge blow. That’s the thing about buying up debt – it offers high yields in the long run, but it’s also possible to lose your ass too if things don’t work out as they should. Of course, this also means one thing – Tesla’s Model 3 production may not be plagued by delays and setbacks. But, it’s still possible. Keep reading to find out why.

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Tesla Model 3 Battery Specs, Cost per Battery, and Profitability Projections

Tesla Model 3 Battery Specs, Cost per Battery, and Profitability Projections

Elon Musk is very ambitious, but some speculate a loss of $13,000 per car sold

Not even a week ago, I brought you the news about a leaked EPA document that give us some figures for the long-range Tesla Model 3 – with the most important figures being the 3,937-pound curb weight and a meager 258 horsepower. These figures allowed us to determine that the long-range model likely had an 80-kWh battery. I later speculated that the standard model would use somewhere between a 50- or 60-kWh battery. Well, in a call with Goldman Sachs for the bondholders that bit onto Musk’s money-raising bait it was confirmed by the big (or little?) guy himself that the standard model gets a battery that is “just over 50 kWh” while the long-range version comes with a 75 kWh battery – turns out that my math and speculation was pretty spot on. Bully for me.

But, that’s not even the most important part – what’s important is that Elon Musk is expecting to see a 25-percent gross margin on each Model 3 Tesla sells. That’s a huge figure when we’re talking about a $35,000 car, but the pivotal deciding factor is the price of each battery that goes into this little EVs. During his call with Goldman Sachs, Musk refused to disclose the cost of each battery but claims that it is cheaper than the competition, and at one point it was said to be less than $190 per kWH. So, how does Musk plan to make so much money of the Model 3? Well, he seems to believe that battery cost could be below $100 per kWh by the end of the decade and even lower in the years to follow. What do these batteries really cost? We can’t say for sure yet, but we have an idea, so let’s do some math.

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EPA Documents Show that the Tesla Model 3 is not a Powerful Vehicle

EPA Documents Show that the Tesla Model 3 is not a Powerful Vehicle

It might get to 60 mph pretty quick, but it doesn’t really have balls

The Model 3 has finally entered production and the first 30 orders we fulfilled at a special handover event in Australia just a little over a week ago. During the handover event, we learned some new things about the Model 3 and Tesla as a whole. Production of the Model 3 is set to ramp up significantly over the next year, but what was more important were the specs that we received. The Model 3 starts out at $35,000 and offers up a Tesla-estimated range of 220 miles. It can hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and tops out at 130 mph. If you opt for the long-range model, you’ll get 310 miles along with the ability to hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 140 mph. And, those specs sound great and all, but our man Elon doesn’t exactly like to disclose all information up front, which means we were left with at least a few questions. We had no idea about system power output or even how much the car weighs. And, while we still haven’t gotten word from WonderBoy Musk or Tesla, the EPA has gotten its hands on an example of the Model 3 and issued a report that gives us some fresh info.

There’s really not much, but the EPA did test the long-range model, so we’re talking about a cost of at least $44,000. Reading the EPA report kind of feels like reading a different language at times, but if you dig through the report, more specifically on page four, you’ll find that the long-range model offers up just 258 horsepower. That means that the standard model probably offers a bit less. So, how is it still able to hit 60 mph so quickly? Well, you can credit the 3,837-pound curb weight. That, and the fact that the electric motor is a direct drive unit and it can deliver near-instantaneous torque. It may be able to beat out a lot of cars rated at the same output, but this baby won’t be beating any sports cars anytime soon. To put this into perspective a bit, the Model S tips the scale at 4,647 pounds, so the Model 3 is upward of 1,000-pounds lighter. We still don’t know for sure what size battery the Model 3 is toting around, but if you do the math, it should come out to be about an 80-kWh battery pack. That means the standard-range model likely makes use of a 50 or 60-kWh battery. And, for those of you who want to call out that the Model 3 should only support a 75-kWh battery, that figure was usable capacity, not maximum capacity, so be nice in the comments section. ;)

With all of this being said, we’ve obtained a PDF version of the EPA report that you can review for yourself. It has been embedded below. Is there anything important you can spot that we might have missed? Let us know in the comments section.

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Did Elon Musk Trick Us into Believing the Tesla Model 3 is Affordable?

Did Elon Musk Trick Us into Believing the Tesla Model 3 is Affordable?

Plenty of reservation cancelations say maybe. And about those options…

Ever since Elon Musk told the world about his intentions of making the Model 3, he has marketed it and boasted it as an affordable mass-market vehicle, even claiming that it would be a car just about anyone could get into. It was a long time coming, but on July 28th, the first Model 3s were delivered in a big handover party in Australia. Tesla’s main homepage also live streamed the festivities. As part of that handover party, we finally got the long-awaited word on specifications as well as official pricing. Now, at a glance, the Model 3 does look pretty affordable – it’s an EV sedan that in base form will cost you $35,000 and offer a range of 220 miles. That’s not bad, and it’s on par with cars like the Nissan Leaf and pretty close to the Chevy Bolt EV. No big deal, right? Well, there is, because the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt EV both have more amenities inside without such a bland look, and the options for the Model 3 could make it quite the expensive little car.

So, let’s talk about that a little more. At $35,000 you get the most basic vehicle ever to be labeled as an entry-level model. This thing has no instrument cluster, no head-up display, and no real character inside. Of course, that 15-inch display provides all of the information you might need and controls all major functions of the interior, but it’s basic. The cabin is only attractive because it’s different, and to be honest, it even looks a little cheap. But hey; it’s a cheap EV, so that’s to be expected. You’re not going to get wood trim, a personal chauffeur, and a gorgeous blonde to go along with the car with a price tag like that. If you’re buying a $120,000 Porsche, then maybe you should negotiate for some extras. The question is, how many people will really settle for the base model? Would you really want to, knowing you only get 220 miles of range? I mean, let’s get real, it doesn’t even come with Tesla’s biggest selling point: Enhanced AutoPilot. So, is it affordable? Well, keep reading to see for yourself.

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Tesla Model 3 Has Easter Eggs Galore

Tesla Model 3 Has Easter Eggs Galore

Should we have expected anything less from Tesla?

Elon Musk may not be the most personable guy in the world, but the man still knows how to have some fun along the way to becoming one of the most influential minds of this generation. Tesla owners will likely attest to this as they’re front and center on all the Easter eggs that Musk and his people at the company have released over the years. The recent launch of the Model 3 brought the conversation of these Easter eggs back to the forefront, and while they don’t really move the needle in terms of making Teslas more attractive in the consumer’s eye, they’re still fun little quirks that add to the appeal of these electric cars.

Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of different Easter eggs from Tesla, some cooler and more fun than others. The Model 3 appears to be no different now that we’re seeing the bag of eggs it has at its disposal. One particularly cool Easter egg, albeit a useless one in the grand scheme of things, is the ability of the navigation system to show a map of Mars and turn the Model 3 on the screen into the Mars Curiosity rover. This particular easter egg can be accessed by pressing and holding the “About Your Tesla” section of the infotainment screen until a second screen pops up. It’s worth mentioning that this second screen actually has a menu of Easter eggs to choose from, including the familiar "Rainbow Road" and a new one called "More Cowbell." Yes, that cowbell. Apparently, Elon Musk has a fever... and the only prescription is MORE COWBELL! Oh, there’s also a sketchpad for drawing and writing notes, you know, while driving.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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The Tesla Model 3 Is Designed For Fully Autonomous Operation, So Where Are The Robo Chauffeurs?

The Tesla Model 3 Is Designed For Fully Autonomous Operation, So Where Are The Robo Chauffeurs?

We’re still years away from going totally driverless

Tesla is finally rolling out the Model 3, kicking off production with a “handover” party wherein company CEO and star boy extraordinaire Elon Musk gave us the skinny on the new sedan’s specs. In addition to learning about important numbers like range per charge and 0-to-60 mph times (310 miles and 5.1 seconds respectively for the top-trim Long Range model), Musk let slip this little nugget regarding Tesla’s self-driving aspirations: “Every Tesla being produced right now – the Model 3, the Model S, the Model X – has all the hardware necessary for full autonomy.” That means visual cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors, and a whole lot of computing power as well. However, the Model 3 still requires a human pilot in the driver’s seat, so what gives?

The answer can be found buried deep in the Model 3 press release, following a $3,000 price tag for the Full Self-Driving Capability package: “This feature is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary by jurisdiction.” Read on for a translation of what that really means, and a prediction of when your car will ferry you around sans inputs.

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Elon Musk Takes a Stab at Volvo During Tesla Model 3 Handover Party

Elon Musk Takes a Stab at Volvo During Tesla Model 3 Handover Party

His claims do sound pretty legit

The Model 3 handover party kicked off last Friday, late in the evening, making it a very late night for those of us on the East Coast. Be that as it may, I sucked it up and watched anyway. Now, I was really hoping for some special surprise to be presented – maybe an early concept of the Model Y or even the successor to the Tesla Roadster – but that, unfortunately, didn’t happen. The show wasn’t a complete bust, though, as not only did we finally get the specs we’ve been itching for, but we got to see Elon himself troll Volvo in a way that only he could pull off. In what has to be a pretty big blow to Volvo, considering the Model 3 quite literally kicked the Volvo S60’s ass in a 20-mph side-impact crash test. For those of you who don’t know, the S60 is regarded as one of the world’s safest cars and does have a five-star safety rating in all categories from the NHTSA. With that said, it’s mind boggling how much better the Model 3 was able to absorb such an impact.

When talking about the Model 3’s safety, Elon just couldn’t resist trolling Volvo just a little bit, saying “Something like the Volvo [S60,] great car – by normal standards very safe… the Volvo is arguably the second safest car in the world.” That line by itself isn’t exactly all that funny, but if you watched the live stream or hit play on the video below, you see that the context in which it was said was quite hilarious. And, you can’t blame him, the S60 is an amazingly safe car, so it’s pretty wild to see the Model 3 perform so much better in a side impact test. After all, Tesla isn’t exactly the world’s largest auto manufacturer. And, I have to hand it to Volvo, it has remained quite classy and has yet to fire back. Then again, you can’t really argue with results either. What would be nice, however, is to see Tesla team up with Volvo and other manufacturers to help improve the safety of all cars, on a global scale – now that would be something.

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First Tesla Model 3's Handed Over In Live Streaming Party

First Tesla Model 3’s Handed Over In Live Streaming Party

Two trim levels revealed, up to 310 miles per charge and 60 mph in 5.1 seconds

We’ve been waiting and waiting for Tesla to finally begin deliveries of the new Model 3, and now, the wait is over. The first 30 Model 3’s destined for private owners just got handed over to their beaming owners in a live stream broadcast on Tesla’s website. Attending the event were swarms of the automaker’s designers and engineers, with quick back and forth tosses that provided a look inside the Tesla assembly line in Fremont, CA, as well as the newly erected “Gigafactory” in Nevada. The event also provided some hard specs on the new 3, plus a look at the final exterior design and the interior.

The Model 3 is a hugely important vehicle, both for Tesla and EV fans in general. Framed as the California-based automaker’s first entry-level, mass-market, affordable vehicle, the 3 promises sexy styling, long range, peppy performance, and zero local emissions, all for around $35,000 before incentives. We’ve got the lowdown on everything that was revealed during the stream, plus lots of new pics to sort through, so read on.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla Model 3 Handover Party Kicks Off at 8:45 PM PST Tonight!

Tesla Model 3 Handover Party Kicks Off at 8:45 PM PST Tonight!

This should be quite the party!

The Tesla Model 3 is hands-down the most anticipated model of the year, promising to bring an affordable EV to the masses. It’s been a long time coming, but today is the day that the handover party kicks off and Tesla will hand over the keys to the first 30 models to roll off of the line. It’s obviously a very small first step, considering the hundreds of thousands of reservations, but it’s only a matter of time before Tesla really ramps up production. The party kicks off at 8:45 PM PST tonight and will be live streamed right on Tesla’s homepage.

The Model 3, which will finally be completely revealed later tonight, is basically a smaller, more basic version of the Model S, and has a set starting price of $35,000. As far as the exterior goes, it’s rather bland, just like the interior which is about as spartan as they come. It will be void of an instrument cluster, speedometer, or a conventional dashboard. Initial customers of the new baby EV will also be limited as far as options go, with the only choices to make being exterior color and wheel choice. As far as tonight’s event goes, there’s no word as to who the first 30 customers are, but we know the first model is going Elon Musk himself, as Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis gifted his place in the queue to the big guy. As far as the other 29 models, they will go to Tesla employees or current owners of other Tesla EVs. We’ll be sure to embed the live steam to this video as soon as we have it, but until then, keep reading to learn a little more about the Model 3.

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Will the Tesla Model 3 Offer Up Any Surprises when the Production Version Debuts?

Will the Tesla Model 3 Offer Up Any Surprises when the Production Version Debuts?

Production should ramp up significantly, but there could be a surprise that we’re not expecting

So, July 28th is fast approaching, and that means that the production version of the Tesla Model 3 is just about ready to make its debut at the official handover event. The first 30 production units are expected to be given to customers during the handover event, and that’s a pretty big deal considering the model with serial No. 001 is said to have rolled off the line as early as July 7th. Following the announcement that serial No. 1 was near completion, Elon Musk also sent out a few tweets claiming that production will ramp up quite quickly, with the month of August increasing to 100 cars, and September raising to bar to “above 1,500.” He later tweeted that Tesla will be able to pump out 20,000 example per month by the time December rolls around. Furthermore, 2019 should approach somewhere around a half million units annually. This is all good news for anyone who has made a reservation and is serious about buying a Model 3, especially when you consider that reservation numbers could have topped 500,000 already. But is there more that we haven’t seen yet?

With the official unveiling of the Model 3 taking place in March of last year, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Plus, we’ve seen numerous release candidates and prototypes floating around in recent months, but word has it that there could be something else on the books for the unveiling. The question is what? Will there be some spectacular new hardware that we have yet to see or some advancement in the AutoPilot system? Will the Model 3 get something else that we’re just not expecting? It’s really hard to say, but the internet has been running wild with hopes and dreams despite the fact that initial models will be very bland, with customers only allowed to choose the exterior color and wheel options.

Keep reading to learn more about it and what to expect.

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Should Tesla Have to Pony Up for Driver Error?

Should Tesla Have to Pony Up for Driver Error?

Who wants to take responsibility for their own mistakes, right?

It’s no secret that Tesla has been the target of plenty of lawsuits over the last year or two. In fact, it seems that just about anyone who crashes their Model S or Model X wants to blame Tesla. Musk was smart, however, and has equipped each of Tesla’s vehicles with a data recorder, which has proven invaluable in protecting the company from people that seem to forget how to drive. Usually, it’s someone saying autopilot screwed up, but there are others that claim their vehicle accelerated all on its own. This guy from California, however, really takes the cake. Last year, this cat (Son Ji-chang) drove his car through his garage and firmly lodged it right into his living room. He immediately pointed the finger at Tesla and initiated yet another lawsuit – one that’s attempting to evolve into class-action status. He even used his wealth to launch a media campaign to slander Tesla a bit. His claim?

“The vehicle spontaneously began to accelerate at full power, jerking forward and crashing through the interior wall of the garage, destroying several wooden support beams in the wall and a steel sewer pipe, among other things, and coming to rest in (his) living room.”

Well, the suit also names several other complaints that have been reported to the NHTSA, a good number of which point to driver error. In other words, the driver hit the accelerator, and the car did what it was supposed to do; Go. And, in this specific case, a third-party even reviewed the logs from one of these alleged rogue cars and determined the same thing, so it’s not necessarily just Tesla trying to flip things around. Well, the people behind the most recent suit have changed their approach, and instead of saying Tesla is responsible for this unintended acceleration, they say that Tesla is responsible for not preventing this unintended acceleration. Basically, they say the car should know that the driver accidentally hit the gas pedal and ignore that input…

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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Let's Hope That Tesla's Production Timetable For The Model 3 Doesn't Have "Delays" Written All Over It

Let’s Hope That Tesla’s Production Timetable For The Model 3 Doesn’t Have "Delays" Written All Over It

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, right?

The start of production of the Tesla Model 3 is all set to begin this July in a “limited” capacity, although according to InsideEVs, the first wave of models that roll off the production line are earmarked for Tesla’s employees and investors. While that allocation part isn’t entirely that big of a deal, the timetable for the car’s production is, especially if Tesla is serious about achieving its goals of producing 5,000 units per week by the fourth quarter of this year and 10,000 units per week sometime in 2018.

To its credit, Tesla has already started production trials for the car in anticipation of the massive volume it has to deal with once full-scale production commences. Tesla, after all, has more than 370,000 deposits to deal with, right?

For everyone’s sake then, let’s hope that the company’s production plans for the Model 3 are all ironed out. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is saying all the right things at the moment, even telling reporters recently that the ramp-up in the production of the Model 3 will happen slowly to give Tesla some form of breathing room to address potential bugs and issues.

That’s good to hear because history hasn’t been kind on Tesla’s production promises. Remember, both the Model S and Model X experienced massive production delays during their launch. The Model X, in particular, was delayed numerous times for a myriad of reasons, including issues with suppliers that ended with ugly lawsuits on both sides. Those delays pushed the launch of the Model X from its original launch timetable in the early part of 2014 all the way to the end of 2015. That’s almost two years, if you’re keeping score.

For the sake of the Model 3, which Tesla is promoting as the model that would signal the company’s entry into mainstream markets, delays of any sort would be devastating to the company. It’s not a premium model like the Model X that can be explained through automotive and legal jargons. This is a car that has almost 400,000 pre-orders attached to it, and you can be sure that a lot of those deposits will be canceled if Tesla suffers any delays in the production of the Model 3.

Let’s all hope that it doesn’t come to that then.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla Begins Preparation Ahead Of Model 3 Production

Tesla Begins Preparation Ahead Of Model 3 Production

There’s more to this than meets the eye

Tesla has proven in the past that it’s capable of unorthodox measures to get certain work aspects done and apparently, it’s dipping into that well one more time after a Reuters report revealed that the electric car maker plans to shut down its production facility in California for a week beginning this month. The reason behind it? Prepare for production for the Model 3 sedan.

In some aspects, such a move isn’t that strange when you consider that other companies have done it in the past in one form or another. But Tesla is a different because it has little flexibility making “brief, planned” pauses in production for a period of time. But the automaker appears to have decided on the issue as it prepares to add capacity to its facility to accommodate the coming production of the Model 3.

A Tesla spokesman even confirmed to the news outlet about the plans, saying that “this will allow Tesla to begin Model 3 production later this year as planned and enable us to start the ramp towards 500,000 vehicles annually in 2018.”

Apparently, Tesla also plans to begin test-building the Model 3 later this month, which could be part of the reason why the facility is being shut down. The goal it seems is to gauge the capability of the production plant in Freemont, California to accommodate the massive spike in production volume that will inevitably happen once the Model 3 begins production. Remember, Tesla wasted little time shouting from the heavens last May that it had received more 370,000 refundable $1,000 deposits for the Model 3, highlighting the massive demand for the car that the company believes is its ticket in breaking into the mainstream auto scene.

The timetable set for the pilot production of the Model 3 also coincides with the company’s conference call with shareholders to report its fourth-quarter results. Apparently, Tesla wants to make a good impression in that conference call and positive news surrounding the upcoming production of the Model 3 could go a long way in appeasing its shareholders.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Tesla's Model 3 Could Have the Simplest Cabin Ever

Tesla’s Model 3 Could Have the Simplest Cabin Ever

A leaked photo leaves little to the imagination

Tesla has always been pretty good at keeping secrets and never has that been more evident than with the upcoming Model 3’s interior. So far, we’ve haven’t gotten a good look at it, and Tesla has quite literally prohibited any photoshoots of the interior. But, there’s a new leaked image circling the internet, and it exposes one of Tesla’s best kept secrets and tells us just how minimalist the Tesla Model 3 will really be. And by minimalist, I mean the cabin is actually pretty darn boring.

The shot that has been circling the internet was taken through the front passenger window and shows us that there are no switches, buttons, or anything of that nature. Outside of the large glass panel in the roof, the only piece of visible technology is the large tablet-like display that is floating in front of the dash. There is a pair of cupholders and a small storage area in the center console, but otherwise, the interior is pretty bare. Apparently, most everything will be controlled via the touchscreen display, and that large slit that runs the width of the dash? Yeah, that’s an air vent for the HVAC system. Of course, there’s also no instrument cluster because chances are Tesla will opt for an advanced HUD.

As far as public opinion goes, some love it while others hate it. Some claim the interior just looks way to cheap, while others said the interior is perfect and exactly what a $35,000 Tesla needs. Part of the reason Tesla has prohibited pictures is because it didn’t want to set a standard early on, as the interior would be changed a bit compared to all of the prototypes shown thus far. So, that leaves one big question: Is this the finalized interior or is there still more change coming? Only time will tell.

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Now that Future Tesla Models can Achieve Level 5 Autonomy, Tesla Thinks it can Tell You What to Do

Now that Future Tesla Models can Achieve Level 5 Autonomy, Tesla Thinks it can Tell You What to Do

Will Tesla Disable your vehicle if you don’t comply? Maybe....

Tesla recently announced that all new models built going forward would have all of the hardware necessary to sustain level 5 autonomy – effectively make the Model S, Model X, and upcoming Model 3 true, self-driving vehicles. This is a huge step forward for the innovative company, and all of the hardware should be fully functional (after several OTA updates) by 2018. This is great and all, but Tesla has been known to have some pretty quirky clauses built into their sales contracts, and level-five capable vehicles are no different. So what funky clause am I talking about this time? How about the fact that you can’t use your new Tesla for car sharing or ride-hailing?

Yes, you read that correctly. On Tesla’s AutoPilot page where the system is described fairly well, but there is a very interesting clause toward the bottom of the page: “It is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality described above will be available, as this is highly dependent on local regulatory approval. Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride-hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year.”

Did you catch that? Tesla is quietly announcing its own ride-sharing network that will be available in 2017. That’s great and all, but right in the middle is that clause that says you can’t use your Tesla for ride-hailing or car sharing outside of its own network. So, in other words, you can’t make money off of your self-driving Tesla, unless Tesla is making money at the same time.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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Tesla Model 3's First Year Of Production Is Sold Out

Tesla Model 3’s First Year Of Production Is Sold Out

Reservations for the Model 3 wont reopen until 2018 at the earliest

Elon Musk’s Twitter account has been a go-to source for breaking news recently, and the Tesla CEO once again took less than 140 characters to announce (somewhat indirectly) that the Model 3’s first year of production has sold out. The company’s founder revealed the enlightening information while responding to an article shared by Fortune Magazine saying that new rounds of reservations for the Model 3 aren’t expected to be reopened for another two years.

The news marks the first time that Musk or anybody from Tesla has commented about the Model 3’s production status since May when the automaker confirmed that it had received more than 370,000 reservations for the entry-level model. Tesla has been quiet on that front since, but with Musk’s tweet, we at least get a good idea on the timetable for reservations on the car to re-open.

Tesla is still targeting a mid-2017 date to begin production of the car with a goal of getting the first wave of models delivered later in the year. At its current rate, the automaker is still in the process of ramping up its production capacity to accommodate all the Model 3 orders that have arrived. It’s only expected to deliver around 80,000 units in 2016, which is a big improvement from the 50,000 units it delivered in 2015. That number is expected to go up again in 2017 onwards as the company gears up to start production of the Model 3. The goal, according to Fortune, is to have manufacturing capabilities to produce around 500,000 models, many of which are likely going to be the Model 3.

In the meantime, those who have made the $1,000 refundable deposit on the car will have to continue to wait for their names to be called and those looking to join the long queue for the Model 3 will have to wait a little while longer to get in line.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Jobs In Technology Are So Competitive, One Company Is Offering A Tesla Model 3 To Recruits

Jobs In Technology Are So Competitive, One Company Is Offering A Tesla Model 3 To Recruits

Never mind the delivery date…

If you’re gonna make it in the tech world, then you’ve gotta surround yourself with the best people possible. But the tech elites out there don’t come cheap, and finding the right incentives to draw them in can be a challenge. One company in Seattle has the right idea – offering to park one of the most in-demand automobiles in the country right in their driveway. Of course, I’m talking about the Tesla Model 3.

That’s the strategy taken by Axon, a division of Taser, which develops, manufactures, and distributes products like electrical weapons and body-worn cameras for law enforcement.

According to a report from the Seattle Times, Axon is offering to purchase the $35,000 all-electric sedan for candidates in select positions, such as web developers and engineers. After working for 90 days at Axon, new hires can sign up for the car waiting list. Existing employees can also secure a spot on the waiting list by referring three employees for select roles.

Tesla revealed the Model 3 sedan on March 31, 2016, amid a flurry of interest. A week after unveiling the Model 3, Tesla accumulated well over 300,000 pre-orders. Deliveries are expected to commence towards the end of next year.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla is Jumping into the Car Insurance Business Overseas

Tesla is Jumping into the Car Insurance Business Overseas

This could make life a lot easier for Tesla owners if it takes off.

In the past, it has been reported that insurers were having problems with listing the correct trim level of the Tesla Model S, ultimately leading to higher premiums for Model S owners. One of the bigger issues is the problem with the P60 using the same battery pack as the 75, with software used to limit it to 60 kWh. Since the P60 is obviously cheaper than the 75, consumers expect to pay less, but in the event of an accident, replacing the battery pack in a 60 cost’s just as much as in the 75. Well, this might not be a problem going forward, as Tesla is partnering with a couple of insurance companies in Hong Kong and Australia to provide a program called InsureMyTesla.

Partnering with AXA General Insurance in Hong Kong and QBE Insurance in Australia, Tesla is able to offer reasonable rates for the Model S and Model X. Coverage of these custom plans include new vehicle replacement within the first 36 months from the first registration and even coverage for things like Damage incurred to a Tesla Home Wall charger. Drivers will be able to pick from their choice of authorized Tesla repair facilities as well. Information on pricing at this point is pretty slim, but according to Electrek, Some Australian customers have reported plans starting at about $1,200 AUD per year or about $900 at current exchange rates.

For now, word has it that the new insurance program is only available in the two aforementioned countries, but if it is successful, it’s likely that it could make its way to the U.S. and Europe in the coming years.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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Tesla Charging more for Autopilot Feature

Tesla Charging more for Autopilot Feature

It’s not as bad as it sounds, but the timing is a little questionable

You have to give Tesla some credit. In the face of all the scrutiny surrounding its Autopilot feature, the EV car manufacturer still understands that it’s in the business game and that game is all about making money. So while the company’s announcement of a new 100 kWh battery pack for the Model S and Model X P100D variants understandably grabbed the headlines, Tesla managed to also increase the price of the Autopilot feature from right under our noses.

Whereas the price for the Autopilot system amounted to $2,500 before or $3,000 to be enabled after delivery of the car, Tesla has increased the number to $3,000 and $3,500, respectively. Apparently, the price increase isn’t because of the new sensors that Tesla is reportedly adding for the second-gen version of the system. According to Electrek, a Tesla spokesperson referred to the price increase as nothing more than a “better reflection” of the system’s actual value.

Whether that is the case or not, the timing of the increase is curious given the rash of negative publicity that has been attributed to the Autopilot system. One would think that Tesla would try to keep a low profile on the feature until it sorts out the quirks, thus having a better justification for a price increase. But the company opted to do it now. Similar features aren’t exactly popping up everywhere these days so while the field is still relatively barren compared to what it’s going to be in a few years, a $500 increase isn’t that big of a deal for customers who have spent or are willing to spend north of $60,000 on either a Model S or a Model X.

Skeptics can criticize all they want; at the end of the day, Tesla is still in the money-making business and this 20-percent increase in the price of the Autopilot feature should be a good source of extra revenues for Elon Musk and company. Now about making the system safer for its drivers...

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Tesla's Autopilot is About to get a Serious Hardware Update

Tesla’s Autopilot is About to get a Serious Hardware Update

Tesla and its AutoPilot system have fallen under a lot of scrutiny lately with all of the AutoPilot-related accidents and subsequent investigations. To be blunt, the company has seen a lot of negative headlines lately. It even broke down and changed some wording on its Chinese website after a recent accident in China. But, despite all the negativity, neither Elon Musk or Tesla as a whole is backing down from pushing the AutoPilot system. That brings us to our topic of discussion today: AutoPilot 2.0.

Apparently, the system is already well into development, despite the fact that Tesla and MobileEye have gone their separate ways. According to the guys over at Electrek, the upgraded AutoPilot system will feature new radar sensors on each corner of the vehicle as well as a new front-facing, triple camera system. Of the three cameras, one will be a wide-angle camera used to scan all lanes ahead, another will be used to scan directly in front of the vehicle, and the third is a backup that can be used by the system in a pinch should there be an unexpected failure.

The new hardware will help push the AutoPilot system into the next stage, and will enable what Tesla is calling “level 3 autonomous driving.” For now, no production vehicles have been fitted with the new hardware, but some sources are reporting that new models already have the proper mounts and wiring, which means the option of retrofitting is a possibility in the future. Even when the new sensors and cameras are installed on production models, it isn’t likely that they’ll go into use right away. Tesla will wait until software is perfected, then roll out over-the-air updates to activate the hardware. With this new hardware, it could be possible for full autonomy to be activated with a future OTA update, but something tells me we still have a while to wait on that one.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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Affordable EV Showdown – Tesla Model 3 vs. Chevrolet Bolt

Affordable EV Showdown – Tesla Model 3 vs. Chevrolet Bolt

Two hotly anticipated all-electrics battle for your bucks

Across the globe, all-electric car sales are on the rise. Automakers are pouring money into development and laying the groundwork for a future where battery-driven automobiles rule the market, and while internal combustion is still number one when it comes to industry success, the battle for EV supremacy is starting to heat up. The new frontline can be found in the pockets of consumers looking for relatively affordable electrified conveyance, and two major players are gearing up for an all-out assault – the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV. Both offer impressive distance-per-charge at a reasonable price point. But the question is this – which one is better?

For now, details on the yet-to-be-released Model 3 are still in flux, but given what we know so far, these two titans of the EV world should stack up nicely for a head-to-head showdown.

For this comparison, we’ll take a look at a variety of vehicle characteristics, including gadgets and technology, performance and range, cargo space and practicality, style and aesthetics, and comfort and interior, plus we’ll give you a few alternatives if neither car is what you’re looking for.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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 Will The NHTSA Consider Banning The Use Of Tesla's Autopilot System?

Will The NHTSA Consider Banning The Use Of Tesla’s Autopilot System?

NHTSA is investigating the most recent crash in which Autopilot is being blamed.

Just yesterday we brought you the news about that Tesla Model X that went rogue and crashed on a highway in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but the driver found it appropriate to blame Telsa, claiming that the Autopilot function was engaged at the time of the crash. When that news went live yesterday, there had been very little development since the crash, but now things are starting to come together quicker than expected.

The first fatal incident involving Tesla’s Autopilot is already under investigation, but now that this new accident, which also had the potential to be fatal, is being investigated by the NHTSA too – Apparently the NHTSA didn’t want to waste any time on this one. For now, we know that the driver is claiming the Autopilot system was engaged, but Tesla takes a very different stance on the situation.

According to AutoblogGreen, a Tesla spokesperson gave the media outlet the following statement regarding the crash: “Tesla received a message from the car on July 1st indicating a crash event, but logs were never transmitted. We have no data at this point to indicate that Autopilot was engaged or not engaged. This is consistent with the nature of the damage reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail. As we do with all crash events, we immediately reached out to the customer to confirm they were ok and offer support, but were unable to reach him. We have since attempted to contact the customer three times by phone without success. It is not possible to learn more without access to the vehicle’s onboard logs.”

That statement could be considered Tesla’s first step in defense, but I think the most important point of interest here is that the NHTSA has already started an investigation into a crash that yielded no injury to anyone involved. So, what does that mean for Tesla and its Autopilot system?

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla Files For $2 Billion Shares Sale

Tesla Files For $2 Billion Shares Sale

$1.4 billion of the total amount will be used to in the production of the Model 3

Tesla Motors Inc. has announced plans to sell $2 billion in shares of its common stock to help fund for an incoming rush in expenses brought about by the upcoming production of the Model 3. Of that amount, $1.4 billion in stock shares will be used to fund the production of the Model 3 with the remaining shares sale being used to cover tax obligations on stock options that CEO Elon Musk is exercising.

A total of 6.8 million shares are expected to offered, although that amount could balloon to 8.24 million shares if the underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, exercise an option to buy additional stock from the automaker. For his part, Musk is looking to sell 2.78 million shares.

The decision to sell these shares was expected and it was only a matter of “when” Tesla would do it as opposed to “if” it’s going to do it. Turns out, the California-based electric car maker opted to strike early in anticipation of the launch of the Model 3 sedan. Tesla’s newest model is already a hit despite the fact that the car has yet to go on sale. According to Tesla, it already has 373,000 pre-orders for the car, a number that exceeded even the company’s own expectations. That amount already strikes off 8,000 orders that have been cancelled and 4,200 reservations that were determined to be duplicate orders from eager customers.

The incredible interest behind the Model 3 has already prompted Tesla to accelerate its 500,000-unit build target to 2018, two years earlier than its previous goal of 2020. But that accelerated plan also comes with accelerated spending, and Tesla is gearing up for that with the shares sale. It’s not just the production of the Model 3 that Tesla is thinking about. Related to that is the ramping up of its battery factory in Reno, Nevada to help accommodate the rush of production models it plans to built. The company also said that part of the spending will be used in expanding sales and service globally and adding more charging stations for use by customers.

Not surprisingly, news of Tesla’s impending shares sale saw the company’s stock close at $211.17 on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. As of 10 am ET, the company’s stock price sits at $212.21.

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2019 Tesla Model 3 Hatchback

2019 Tesla Model 3 Hatchback

An all-electric five-door for you and me

In case you’ve been living under a rock with no dependable Wi-Fi for the last month or so, Tesla recently dropped cover on the Model 3 – an entry-level sedan with slick styling, solid range, and impressive performance. Unlike Tesla’s other products, the Model S and Model X, the Model 3 offers affordability with an eye towards high-volume production, and with nearly 400,000 pre-orders already on the books, it appears as though the California-based automaker hit a grand slam. And that’s good news, especially when you consider how the Model 3 was designed to make significant headway towards the company’s stated goal of bringing all-electric transportation to the masses. But even with widespread critical acclaim and record pre-sales, there’s still a long way to go before Elon Musk can unfurl the “Mission Accomplished” banner. Additional body styles will be critical to Tesla’s ongoing success, and might include a more practical hatchback variant some time in the future.

In a Tweet, Musk said that the Model 3’s rear roof cross-car support beam was moved to make sure passengers sitting on the rear bench had enough headroom. The result is a small trunk lid, rather than the larger hatch seen on the Model S and Model X. And while the Tesla CEO claims the Model 3 can carry a 7-foot surfboard in the cabin, there are many who feel as though the diminutive cargo space puts a damper on the car’s practicality, leaving the much larger (and hugely more expensive) Model X as the marque’s only real cargo mover. And that’s a problem for a company trying to reach as many consumers as possible.

Fortunately, Tesla has stated it’s looking into a multitude of different body styles, which means a Model 3 Hatchback could very well be in the pipeline.

So then – if the Model 3 was turned into a five-door, what would it bring to the table? Read on for our speculative review.

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Tesla Model 3 First Drive Leaves An Impression: Video

Tesla Model 3 First Drive Leaves An Impression: Video

Those who attended Tesla’s Model 3 launch got to take the EV out for a spin

The Tesla Model 3 is the talk of the automotive world and rightfully so. Unveiled on March 31, 2016, pre-orders of the Model 3 have gone through the stratosphere as seemingly everybody with a driver’s license in the U.S. wants a piece of one. As impressive as the number of pre-orders that Tesla has received of the car, the question on everybody’s mind is how well does it drive.

Well, this video isn’t much of an answer to that question, but it does give us a nice first impression on what the Model 3 is capable of on the road. Judging by the pounding of the wind in the background, I’d say that the Model 3 looks to be running about as smoothly as it can given the stage of its development. You also don’t hear any engine noise, which should be the case considering that it’s an electric car. Points also goes to the people filming the drive for putting some focus on that massive monitor sitting in the middle of the center console. That’s the only equipment on the interior and the absence of dials and gauges can be disarming at first, but for the most part, that cabin looks about as clean as it can get.

It’s not the most informative video of the Model 3, but given how everybody is talking about the model these days, this video at least gives a good look at what the Model 3 is capable of on the road.

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Tesla Could Use France's Oldest Nuclear Reactor For Its Next Factory

Tesla Could Use France’s Oldest Nuclear Reactor For Its Next Factory

Electric car maker looking for a place to set-up shop in Europe

Tesla’s search for a production facility in Europe may have gotten a boost after French Energy Minister Segolene Royal offered the site of France’s oldest nuclear reactor in Fesseheim as a potential site for the electric car marker. The nuclear plant is expected to close at the end of the year, as per a pledge made by French President Francois Hollande.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has not yet commented on the potential site, but according to Royal, a meeting has been scheduled with Tesla’s management in two weeks to determine the feasibility of putting up the factory in that region. Curiously, Musk has already touted the plant’s location as a possible site in an interview back in February 2016. Musk called it “idle speculation” but he did mention putting a factory in Alsace, a region near the German border where the Fessenheim nuclear plant is currently located.

Multiple news reports point to energy minister Royal as the most vocal proponent of having the Tesla plant in France. The Fessenheim plant, she argues, is an ideal location for the American automaker because it’s going to need employment opportunities once the nuclear plant closes by the end of the year. There has been some strong opposition in the plant closure, most notably from labor unions and local politicians who are afraid of lost jobs once the plant closes. But a Tesla factory would certainly answer those fears, and if the entire proposal pushes through, France will not only become Tesla’s de facto HQ in Europe, but it will also bolster the country’s reputation as the biggest market for electric cars in Europe.

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Tesla Receives Close To 300k Orders For The Model 3 In Three Days

Tesla Receives Close To 300k Orders For The Model 3 In Three Days

Incredible demand for the electric car puts pressure on Tesla to deliver the goods

The Tesla Model 3 is quickly turning into one of the most in-demand production vehicle in the auto industry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that just two days after the Model 3 was officially unveiled, pre-orders for the low-cost five-seater have already reached 276,000. That total came as a complete surprise even to the company founder as Musk subsequently tweeted that Tesla would need to “rethink production planning” in the wake of the incredible demand for the $35,000 electric car.

Granted, the buzz surrounding the Model 3 comes with some caveats, specifically the model’s timetable. Tesla says production for the Model 3 isn’t expected to start until the end of 2017 so those first pre-orders shouldn’t expect to receive their models at least until 2018. Even then, there’s no guarantee that Tesla can hit that schedule. History dictates that there’s going to be some form of delay that could push the start of production to 2018 and deliveries into 2019. That’s going to be a long wait for any car, let alone one that promises to provide the full EV experience at a fraction of the cost compared to its luxurious siblings, the Model S and the Model X.

Still, regardless of the expectation verses reality angle surrounding the Model 3, what’s clear is that the reception of Tesla’s newest ride has been beyond overwhelming. The issues with production and delivery – and there will be issues given how demand has been so great – are problems for another day. Today, Tesla should toast the successful unveiling of its newest model. It probably didn’t expect the demand for the Model 3 to be this high, but now that it’s here, the automaker needs to make sure that all the hype and buzz the model has generated won’t go to waste as the car is being prepared for production.

The pressure’s definitely on Musk and Tesla now. Time to see if the Model 3 really does become the everyday EV of the future.

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Tesla Model 3 Unveiled

Tesla Model 3 Unveiled

The final piece to Tesla’s master plan

Elon Musk just unveiled arguably the most important model to ever wear a Tesla badge. It’s called the Model 3, and it bears the responsibility of being the California-based electric car manufacturer’s first low-dollar, high-volume seller in its 13-year history. That means it should contribute mightily to the company’s stated goal of bringing all-electric transportation to the masses.

Let’s start with the aesthetics. The Model 3 looks like a scaled-down Model S, with sleek, simple lines, and a gracefully curved roof. Several different wheel designs were on display for the unveiling, but sizing was equally large, filling the flared fenders with ease. LEDs appear in the front fascia, where a grille-free nose is in place for maximum aero efficiency.

Exact details on what will power the Model 3 are still under wraps, but Musk confirmed at least 215 miles of range and a 0-to-60 mph time under the six-second mark. He also reiterated that more range and faster acceleration would be offered on higher trim levels. The option for supercharging will come as standard, as will autopilot mode. Tesla expects 5-star safety ratings in every crash test category.

Inside will be enough space for five adult passengers to sit “comfortably.” To help make room within the downsized exterior dimensions, the instrument panel was compressed and the front seats were moved forward. In back, there’s a solid piece of glass sloping up to the roof, offering a roomier feel. Like the S, there will be two trunks, one in front and one in back, and Musk also confirmed that a seven-foot surfboard would fit inside the cabin.

Pricing will start at $35,000. Musk says he’s “fairly confident” deliveries will commence sometime next year, which is good news for anyone who plunked down $1,000 to place one of the 115,000 pre-orders already on the books.

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Tesla In Negotiations With Chinese Government To Build Local Manufacturing Plant

Tesla In Negotiations With Chinese Government To Build Local Manufacturing Plant

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that his company is in the middle of negotiations with the Chinese government on the possibility of manufacturing its cars in the country. Without jumping into specific details of the negotiations, Musk hinted that if the Chinese government gives the thumbs up on allowing a manufacturing plant in the country, prices of its models could potentially drop by around 33 percent.

The California-based automaker is determined to gain a stronger hold in the Chinese market, knowing full well the benefits of being a player in the country. So far, sales of Tesla models in China have been tepid at best and Musk is determined to increase that number. From January to September 2015, Tesla has sold just 3,025 units of the Model S in China, and while that may be an admirable number in another country, that’s far from what can be characterized as decent volume in a country China’s size.

Having a manufacturing facility in China could open that sales floodgate for the company. But getting there will take a lot of work, and in the Chinese government’s case, a lot of convincing. One potential roadblock is the government’s requirement for a foreign automaker to establish a joint venture with a Chinese company just so the automaker can build cars in the country. So far, Musk hasn’t said anything pertaining to progress on its negotiations with the government.

It is imperative that Tesla boosts its sales in China considering the massive investments it has made in other divisions, particularly its $5 billion battery factory in Nevada. Without the strength of the Chinese market to boost its volume, Tesla has already been forced to slash off roughly 30 percent of its 600 employees in the U.S. It’s not a given that a Chinese plant will reverse its sales fortune in China, but at the very least, it’s going to help drive up production, and just as important, brand recognition among Chinese customers.

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Tesla Model 3 Will Also Get A Crossover Version

Tesla Model 3 Will Also Get A Crossover Version

Tesla’s new Model III lineup won’t consist of just one model. Tesla Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel announced at the EIA Energy Conference in Washington D.C. that a Model III crossover will be available in addition to the sedan. The news comes courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, which says the new Model III crossover will be available in 2017 — the same year the sedan debuts.

Tesla has previously confirmed the sedan will start at $35,000, and as Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a conference in New Orleans about a week ago, will have a range of 250 miles, 50 miles more than the company’s original estimate. Straubel and Musk declined to share any additional information about the Model III crossover. Expect it to be a bit more expensive than the sedan but also a more-affordable alternative to the mid-size 2016 Tesla Model X, deliveries of which Musk says will begin in a few months.

The Model III crossover will likely use the same chassis and drivetrain as the sedan, but expect maximum range to take a slight hit due to its taller aerodynamic profile. We already know the sedan will take aim at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, so expect the Model III crossover to be positioned against the X3, GLC and Q5.

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Tesla Model 3 Will Have A Driving Range Of At Least 250 Miles

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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