It was in 2017 when Tesla delivered what had sounded like the best news ever for the electronic vehicle industry. The Model 3 sedan was tagged to be the most affordable an e-car would ever get yet, with its most basic model being $35,000. That never quite turned out as expected since Tesla focused on prioritizing Model 3’s that had plenty of add-on features, and thus heftier price tags. Granted, they have started to shave dollars off their more feature-heavy Model 3 variants, especially last month. But it was still not the basic 220-mile $35,000 basic auto Tesla promised everyone.
But as The Verge tells it, the long wait is over. Now, the most bare-bones and affordable Tesla Model 3 sedan variant is finally available for purchase. The e-vehicle manufacturer announced it on their official website on Thursday, February 28. As already stated, the baseline sedan has a range of 220 miles on a single full charge, and is capable of a 130 mph top speed and 0-60 mph acceleration in 5.6 seconds. And yes, it is priced at only $35,000 just as advertised a couple years ago. Tesla also assures that despite the budget-level specs, the basic Model 3 retains its 5-star safety rating, like all its higher-priced siblings.
Then again, it is not Tesla without offering something a bit more substantial, and therefore worth more. The Model 3 “Standard Range Plus” adds $2,000 to the asking price, but offers slightly improved capabilities: 240-mile range, 140 mph top speed and zero to 60 in 5.4 seconds instead. To sweeten the deal, there will apparently be some “premium interior features” to the S-Range Plus, though both will have all-glass sunroofs and manual seats. Tesla CEO Elon Musk estimates the basic and Plus Model 3 sedans will reach China and Europe within three to six months.
Prospective buyers might sense a catch in these deals, especially if they recall Musk’s earlier excuses about profitability being why the affordable baseline Model 3 was held back so long. There is a catch: pretty soon Tesla customers worldwide might only be able to buy their cars online. The company has earlier announced that they would be closing a majority of their retail locations, along with the inevitable layoffs. Such drastic actions are supposed to keep Tesla financially stable, especially in order to afford bringing out the $35,000 Model 3. Whether it is worth it or not, time will tell.
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