Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk took the stage in Hawthorne, California in March 2016, introducing the latest Model 3. Before presenting the features of the Model 3 he made a brief refresher regarding Tesla’s mission, vision and current success in the electric vehicles market.
Why does Tesla exist?
Tesla is a company with an unprecedented leadership on an unwavering mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport. Tesla’s drive and leadership are important for the world, considering the record high amounts of CO2, recorded at 403.5 PPM as of March 2016, which is equivalent to the level of CO2 concentration measured 11 million years ago.
Continuous increases in the level of CO2 emissions lead to rising temperatures, which are already higher by 2 degrees and are expected to continue increasing. Moreover, toxic gases released by combustion cars additionally contribute to deadly intoxication resulting in 53,000 deaths per year.
Thus, Tesla designed a Master plan, consisting of a 4 part trilogy, whose eventual goal is to find a way in which the tiny company with very few resources can make a difference.
The early beginnings of the company were small, with Tesla’s introduction of the Roadster, at a humble production capacity of mere 500 vehicles annually. Produced at low volume and sold at high prices, the Roadster was the first really great electric vehicles. Even with a limited scale it had a leveraged effect, hugely impacting the auto industry and leaving its mark as a fast, beautiful and highly performing car. Nonetheless, early critics were quick to comment that the vehicle is an expensive toy which can not be scaled to the mass market.
Model S and Model X
In order to combat Naysayers, Tesla designed the Model S, as a great sedan with medium volume at a lower price. Suitable for carrying 7 people, it was positively tested as the fastest car in the world.
The vehicle with great handling, technology and built in Autopilot, was also rated as the best car in its year by every group and the best car ever produced by consumer reports.
After the success of Model S, Tesla figured out that half of the market has preferences for a sedan, while the remaining half prefers an SUV. Hence, the Model X, produced at medium volume and lower prices, was additionally released.
Even though Model S and Model X managed to tackle the volume and price issues, both vehicles did not reach the desired scalability required for mass production, which is why Tesla designed its latest Model 3. The model was envisioned as the solution to the high volume at low prices challenge, whose development costing billions will be financed by the revenues from the Models S and X.
Besides being the solution to the mass production problem, Model 3 is also the last constituent of the Master Plan. Built as an incredibly safe car, with 5 stars in all categories, the base model will also be Tesla’s fastest car going from 0-60 miles an hour in less than 6 seconds, and reaching a range of at least 215 miles. All Model 3s will have standard Autopilot hardware, with safety features installed, that could comfortably fit 5 adults.
The aesthetics of the vehicle will include a roof area made of continuous glass, creating a feeling of openness. Model 3 will have front and rear trunks, as well as supercharging capabilities providing freedom of travel.
Tesla’s network of supercharges and destination chargers currently counts 3,608 and 3,689, respectively. As the company scales production, it also expects to double the number of superchargers to 7,200 and destination chargers to 15,000.
The flexibility provided by the vast network of Tesla chargers will allow people to go virtually anywhere, as the Model 3 charger will be able to adapt to any voltage standard internationally. Tesla’s charger network encompasses 215 locations in Asia, US and Europe, and is expected to double to 441 by the end of 2017.
Model 3 will be produced at the Freemont factory, which is a high volume production facility where 500,000 cars per year are produced. Confident that it can achieve the same production capacity for the Model 3, Tesla also built the already operational Gigafactory for Lithium-ion cells production.
Enthusiastically concluding the presentation, Musk stated that the first deliveries of the vehicle selling for $35,000, for which there are already more than 115,000 orders, will be available at the end of 2017.