The Tesla Model 3 may have the same impact on the automotive industry (some say it already has) as the Ford Model T had on the horse drawn industry. Not the first ‘affordable’ EV as GM introduced the GM Bolt in December 2016 at a similar price but the first to capture the imagination of the general public. With over four hundred thousand pre-orders it represents the biggest launch of any product in dollar terms anywhere. It was an unprecedented spectacle to see customers lining up to put down their deposits when the car was unveiled in March 2016.
The Model 3 like its siblings features built in autopilot/autonomous hardware and has over the air updates. With over the air (OTA) updates various options have been included such as Sentry mode (anti-theft mode), Dog mode (keeps the climate comfortable for pooch), Valet mode, a range of Easter Eggs (Romance, Atari, Mars, Screen Write, Fart – yes Fart etc.) OTA updates has also given the car 5% additional range and 5% performance improvement. Full self drive capability will be introduced by end 2019. The car has 350kms of range on a single charge (500kms in the Long Range version) and is Supercharger enabled resulting in 210 kms of range per 30 minutes charge (270 kms for the Long Range version). The recently announced V3 Supercharger will achieve a charge rate for a Model 3 of 120 kms in just 5 minutes.
It features a 15 inch landscape mounted screen and no conventional dash. Like the Model S and X the car has both front and rear cargo compartments resulting in 400 litres of storage space. The standard five seater will accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 5.6 seconds with the Long Range version able to do that in 5.1 seconds. The performance version can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 3.5 seconds. Production commenced on 7th July 2017 and a recent tweet from Elon Musk said the car will be in Australia by winter 2019 (we assume he meant northern hemisphere winter).