Tesla Model 3: Online design studio now accessible without $1,000 reservation deposit


Car news / Среда, Июль 11th, 2018

Tesla Model 3 reservations have been around for a couple of years now, with the company finally deciding to skip the process – which requires a cool $1,000 (£755) deposit – entirely. Now anyone can access the design studio, which has received a sleek online update. But before you rejoice at the democratisation, however, Electrek reports that Tesla will still prioritise orders for reservation holders.

Nonetheless, it’s an exciting feature that we personally can’t wait to make use of. Check out the below video from Talking Tesla, which walks you through the process. 

Video of Model 3 Configurator

These announcements follow the recent news that Tesla is continuing to spend cash at an alarming rate, reporting overall losses of $784.6 million or $4.19 per share in the first part of the 2018.

However, the car manufacturer appears to have finally overcome long-running production problems with the Model 3, revealing it produced more than 2,000 cars per week for three consecutive weeks of April.

READ NEXT: Tesla Model Y: Render guesses what Elon Musk’s new, electric SUV could look like

For the past year, analysts and industry insiders questioned Tesla’s ability to mass produce vehicles, after it repeatedly failed to hit targets. Last July, Musk claimed the company would be making 20,000 Model 3s a month by December, but in the three months of 2017, it only actually built 2,425 in total. Of these, the company delivered just 1,550 to customers, many of whom were Tesla employees.

However, now that the ball finally appears to be rolling, the company’s bosses have estimated that Model 3 production volume will reach 5,000 units per week by the end of the year, helping it to finally post a profit.

Everything you need to know about the Tesla Model 3

This was the first Tesla Model 3

The first production Model 3 was first revealed in July last year when Musk tweeted a monochrome picture of the car.

As for the owner? That wasn’t actually Musk – at least to begin with, anyway. In a later tweet, Musk explained that Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis had the rights to the first car, but he transferred them to Musk as a 46th birthday present. That means Musk has the first example of the Tesla Roadster, Model X and Model 3 – but not the Model S.

READ NEXT: We need to talk about batteries

Tesla Model 3 does have an issue with braking – but it’s fixable 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has admitted his company’s Model 3 range does have an issue with braking. 

A review of the electric car, by Consumer Reports, raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of the braking on the Model 3, and the impact this has on stopping distances. In particular, Consumer Reports said the average braking distance of 152ft (46m) was «far worse than any contemporary car tested».

READ NEXT: Best electric cars for sale in the UK

Initially, Tesla played down the claims, stating that its own tests pushed this average down to 133ft «when conducting the 60-0 mph stops using the 18in Michelin all season tyre,» and as low as 126ft with all tyres currently available.

Yet Musk later tweeted that the issue could be fixed via a firmware update and said he will be issuing this update to all cars before the end of this week. 

«With further refinement, we can improve braking distance beyond initial specs. Tesla won’t stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable car,» Musk tweeted, before adding: «Also, Consumer Reports has an early production car. Model 3 now has improved ride comfort, lower wind noise & many other small improvements. Will request that they test current production.»

The report comes just days after the biillionaire boss revealed, again on Twitter, that there will be two new dual-motor, all-wheel drive versions of the Model 3.

The performance all-wheel drive option, which will inevitably grab most headlines, achieves the same 310-mile range of the long-range Model 3, but can do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155 mph. This version comes with all options included (apart for Autopilot) and costs $78k. For context, regular Model 3s start at $35,000 (£26,100).

Alternatively, customers will have the option to purchase a standard all-wheel drive option for $5,000 (£3,700). This too comes with a 310-mile range, but boosts 0-60mph to 4.5 seconds (from 5.1 seconds on the long-range model).

In both AWD versions of the Model 3, the car can keep on running even in the event that one motor should break down, Musk explained on Twitter:

“Tesla dual motor means there is a motor in front & a motor in rear. One is optimized for power & one for range. Car drives fine even if a motor breaks down. Helps ensure you make it to your destination & don’t get stuck on side of road in potentially unsafe conditions.”

The Tesla Model 3 comes with Autopilot equipment as standard

This seems to have been largely overlooked, but at its launch, Musk revealed that all Tesla Model 3s will have Autopilot hardware as standard, including all the safety features that come with it. You don’t get the full autonomous Autopilot, but you do get features such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping and automatic preventative steering (Autosteer), which is incredibly impressive at this price.

Plus, because the Tesla Model 3 comes with all the sensors and lasers you need for Autopilot as standard, you can always get the matching software at a later date. It will probably cost you around £2,600, but having the option to upgrade your entry-level Tesla is a real bonus.

 

Tesla Model 3 UK price, specs, news and release date: 11 things you NEED to know

READ NEXT: Best electric cars in the UK

The Model 3’s infotainment system could leave customers underwhelmed

Musk neglected to show off the car’s horizontal touchscreen when he first unveiled the Model 3. However, videos like the one below let you see it in action.

Video of Tesla Model 3 Impressions!

The Model 3’s infotainment system is one of the more controversial things about the car, for two reasons. In order to save costs, the Tesla Model 3 has a 15in horizontal screen, which is smaller and rotated compared to the touchscreen in both the Model S and the Model X. What’s more, the Tesla Model 3 doesn’t have an instrument cluster so, unlike the Model S and the Model X, it only has one screen to display all the information the driver needs – from autonomous features to music streaming and air conditioning. And when you throw in the fact that the screen is smaller, that seems like a tough design challenge. 

The Tesla Model 3 doesn’t have free Supercharging

For several years, Supercharging was free to Tesla owners, but this service was discontinued at the start of last year. In a statement, Tesla said: “For Teslas ordered after January 1, 2017, 400kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) will be included annually so that all owners can continue to enjoy free Supercharging.»

That means free Supercharging hasn’t been scrapped altogether, but it does mean new owners eventually have to pay to use one of Tesla’s quick chargers. As for the price? In the UK, you’ll pay 20p per kWh to recharge your Tesla, and elsewhere pricing is fixed by country.

The Tesla Model 3 isn’t THAT cheap

The Tesla Model 3 starts at around $35,000 – significantly less than the Tesla Model S – and it comes with autonomous technology, a range of colours and quite a few interesting options. Except it actually doesn’t. As pointed out by CNNTech, many of the headline features of the Tesla Model 3 are optional and significantly bump up the cost of the new EV.

According to CNNTech, any colour other than black will cost customers $1000, while the Autopilot features cost an extra $8,000. Although the standard Model 3’s 220-mile range is impressive, it costs another $9,000 to get a battery capable of a headline-stealing 310-mile range.

As with any car, the Model 3 will cost more with extras, but the surprising thing here is just how little the Tesla comes with as standard. The base Model 3 is still revolutionary and comes with all the kit you’d expect from a tech-filled car in 2017, but you’ll need to pay a lot more to get the real «Tesla» experience.

YouTuber and Tesla fan Ben Sullins has created an online calculator for the Model 3, as spotted by The Next Web. You can choose your battery, select your upgrade, wheel and colour choice as well as your loan plan to get a monthly fee. Click the form below to use the tool.