Tesla Finally Launches Its Affordable $35K Model 3 in Surprise Announcement

Model 3 Track Mode Release Credit: Motor Trend
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Since its inception, Tesla has promised that a $35,000 Model 3 would eventually become available sometime in the future. That time is now.

Elon Musk announced on February 28 that Tesla will sell standard trim Model 3 sedans starting at $35,000. The company has been holding off on launching the more affordable base model to prioritize production of higher-trim versions in an effort to increase its profit margins.

The announcement was made through Tesla’s news portal, where the company stated: “We are incredibly excited to announce that the standard Model 3, with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds is now available at $35,000! Although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version, which has the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the U.S. Government.”

A Model 3 Standard Range Plus will also be available, which offers 240 miles of range, more premium interior features, a faster 0-60 time and a higher top speed. The Standard Range Plus will cost buyers $37,000 before incentives. Tesla humorously states that for only 6% more money, buyers will gain 9% more power and range.

Tesla also announced that all Tesla vehicle sales will now be completed online only. In addition, the company is allowing potential buyers to return a vehicle within 7 days/1,000 miles for no charge.

Tesla stock prices initially jumped 5% ahead of the surprise announcement, partially due to hype Musk was able to generate over social media.

Musk previously teased the mystery announcement via Twitter, where he changed his profile name to “Elon Tusk” featuring an elephant emoji as well as updated his profile picture to a photo of Mars with text stating “Revive,” causing confusion as to what the surprise announcement might entail.

Shortly after however, Musk again caused more confusion by updating his photo to a simple picture of a black Tesla Model 3 on a white background. During that time Tesla stopped taking orders for its Model S, Model 3, and Model X, where potential buyers were redirected to its mysterious landing page. However, Musk made it clear on Wednesday that the announcement would, in fact, be related to Tesla, rather than SpaceX or The Boring Company.

“Tesla is committed to making not just the best electric cars, but the best cars, period. And our products are the reason we continue to rank #1 in Consumer Reports owner satisfaction survey and have every single year since Tesla was first eligible to be included in 2013. Both Model 3 Standard and Standard Plus are available starting today at Tesla.com.”

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