30 brand new Tesla 3's left the Fremont factory for the California roads Friday night. At a releasing event, CEO Elon Musk drove on stage in a red Model 3 and handed 30 new electric vehicles to employees and early investors at a factory gala. He added new details about affordable sedan and rallied his employees for the challenges they face in the upcoming months. "We're building the cars as fast as we can. We care about every part of it," Musk said at the event. The widely anticipated Model 3 is the first expansion into the mass market, away from their long line of luxury level cars. The Model 3 will be in direct competition with imported sport sedans.
The company recently received a stock market valuation of $55 billion, surpassing the largest US car manufacturing companies of GM and Ford. However, the near-term success will be entirely dependent on the Model 3's breakout and success. The new owners included Tesla employees but also a few early investors. Each had deposited $1000 last spring for the opportunity to own an electric sedan. Reservations quickly skyrocketed in March 2016 to epic proportions and there are currently over 400,000 people on the list. The Model 3 includes a travel range of 215 to 220 miles on a single charge with a top speed of 130 mph or 140 for the premium editions.
The vehicle is able to restore 130 miles of travel range after 30 minutes of supercharging. It also comes with the option of a larger battery pack for an additional $9000, extending the travel range to 310 miles. Other options include an autopilot driver-assist package for $5000 and a full self-driving option for an additional $3000. For $5000, the premium package will include high-end audio, heated seats and tinted glass roof. The base price starts at $35,000.
In October last year the company announced their electric vehicles will not be allowed to be used for ride sharing companies. While ride-sharing among family and friends is still fine, the company has made it clear their intentions of allowing their vehicles to only earn revenue through such services in their own Tesla Network, their own version of Uber. For those wanting to test out the Model 3, it may still be at least another year before these models show up at a car rental company. Tesla only has the Fremont factory at the moment and production is only supposed to hit 5000 vehicles a week by September. 5000 a week will take a long time to clear the 400,000 reservations.