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Tesla Prepares To Unveil Model 3, Its Most Important Electric Car Yet

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 31/03/2016 Matt Ferner
RELDBMGF20000064717 © Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters RELDBMGF20000064717

HAWTHORNE, Calif. -- On Thursday night, electric car manufacturer Tesla will unveil its latest electric car -- the hotly anticipated lower-cost Model 3 sedan -- at its Hawthorne, California, design studio.

It’s a historic moment for both the electric car industry and for Elon Musk’s Tesla. While it’s the company’s fourth car released, it’s Tesla's first-ever affordable one -- and that’s a big deal for the industry. Of course several lower-priced all-electric cars have been introduced, but for Tesla, considered to be the Apple of the automotive industry , the Model 3 has the potential to ostensibly be its iPhone -- a mass-market, consumer-priced and sexy machine that changes the game.

If the car becomes as popular and successful as Musk hopes, Tesla stands to become a major consumer brand that helps to finally usher the all-electric car era into the mainstream. But it may be a bumpy road ahead  -- the Koch brothers are planning a multimillion-dollar assault on electric vehicles , Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model is still prohibited in several states , automotive technology and trends are evolving rapidly and there is a possibility of shrinking tax incentives that push electric car prices down, a key to driving sales. When the Model 3 finally does begin to ship in late 2017, it won’t be the first affordable all-electric vehicle to hit the market, so Tesla stands to face considerable competition.

Still, Tesla’s Model 3 marks a significant step forward for the electric car and could prove really move the needle for the electric car industry. 

Watch the event live here starting at 8:30 p.m. PST.

This is a developing story, check back here for updates...

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