One year after we took delivery of our Tesla Model 3 my wife Jennie and I sat down to talk about how it’s going. Join our email list and get these updates direct to your inbox at
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// Tesla Model 3 (wikipedia)
The Tesla Model 3 is a mid-size (US) / compact executive (EU) luxury all-electric four-door sedan manufactured and sold by Tesla, Inc. Following crash testing it received five-stars in every category from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to Tesla officials, the Model 3 Standard version delivers an EPA-rated all-electric range of 220 miles (354 km) and the Long-range version delivers 310 miles (499 km). The Model 3 has a minimalist dashboard with only a center-mounted LCD touchscreen. Tesla stated that the Model 3 carries full self-driving hardware to be optionally enabled at a future date.
Within a week of unveiling the Model 3 in 2016, Tesla revealed they had taken 325,000 reservations for the car. These reservations represented potential sales of over US$14 billion. By August 2017, there were 455,000 net reservations. Limited production of the Model 3 began in mid-2017, with the first production vehicle rolling off the assembly line on July 7, 2017, with the official launch and delivery of the first 30 cars on July 28. On July 1, 2018, it was announced that Tesla had met its production goal of 5,000 cars in a week.
Total deliveries passed the 100,000 unit milestone in October 2018, and cumulative sales since inception totaled 147,610 units through December 2018. The Model 3 was the top-selling plug-in electric car in the U.S. in 2018 with an estimated all-time record of almost 140,000 units delivered, after being the top-selling plug-in car in the country for 12 months in-a-row since January 2018.
In a 2013 interview, Jerome Guillen discussed “BlueStar” (codename for the Model 3 project), stating that Tesla was expecting to produce 400,000 cars per year.
In May 2016, Tesla told its suppliers that it intended to double earlier-announced Model 3 production targets to 100,000 in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018 due to demand, which suppliers and many experts viewed as unattainable. In the Tesla Factory, paint lines for 500,000 automobiles commenced in 2015, and some stamping equipment for the Model 3 was operational by August 2016. Tesla bought Grohmann Engineering, experienced in automated manufacturing, January 2017. This acquisition launched Tesla Advanced Automation Germany, which Tesla said would develop manufacturing processes to be used initially in Model 3 production. According to Tesla in late 2016, the company expected to invest between US$2 billion and US$2.5 billion in capital expenditures ahead of the start of Model 3 production.
After the two Alpha prototypes were shown (silver and black; red was a shell) in April 2016, Tesla finished the design in late July 2016. Tesla ordered parts equivalent to 300 Beta prototypes in August 2016, preparing for development of the assembly line. As of August 2016, the company intended to make release candidates for testing prior to actual production. Tesla began building Model 3 prototypes in early February 2017 as part of the testing of the vehicle design and manufacturing processes. Tesla said in late 2016 that initial crash test results had been positive.