You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

First Deliveries of $35K Version of Tesla Model 3 Delayed until Late 2018

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 3/23/2018 Bengt Halvorson

a car parked in a parking lot: First Deliveries of $35K Version of Tesla Model 3 Delayed until Late 2018© Bengt Halvorson First Deliveries of $35K Version of Tesla Model 3 Delayed until Late 2018

Tesla has delivered about 10,000 examples of its Model 3 sedans so far but has thus far failed to deliver on one important item that was central to why this model garnered so much hype: its $35,000 base price. First U.S. deliveries of the standard-range (220 mile) version of the Model 3, still expected to start at that price, now aren’t due until “late 2018,” according to Tesla, while dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Model 3 versions are expected to start in what the company terms “mid-2018.”

The cars produced so far have been the single-motor version with the longer-range battery pack, a configuration that carries a plump sticker price in the low to mid-$50,000s—nearly what the original Model S was supposed to start at six years ago.

The Model 3, however, has been championed as Tesla’s mass-market car, one that could effectively cost $27,500 or less—just $25,000 to California customers who can take full advantage of the Golden State’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) rebate and the $7500 federal EV tax credit. But that base version may arrive into a very narrow window in which buyers can take full advantage of those incentives. Tesla expects to reach the federal tax credit’s cap of 200,000 vehicle deliveries in late 2018; that would trigger a yearlong period in which the amount of the credit would step down, first to $3750 for six months and then to $1875 for another six months, before expiring altogether.

a car parked in a parking lot: Tesla Model 3 - Red Rear Sunset© Provided by Car and Driver Tesla Model 3 - Red Rear Sunset

Tesla continues to grapple with a conundrum that’s quite different from what other automakers face with their own fully electric cars. Hundreds of thousands of people want the Tesla Model 3—and have laid down $1000 deposits for it—yet the factory can’t produce them quickly enough. Although Tesla hasn’t provided any recent update on production or deliveries, Bloomberg News’ Model 3 tracker—which is informed by government sources, Tesla owners, and social media, including an analysis of VIN data—estimates that Tesla is now up to a production rate of 805 Model 3 sedans per week, with 10,636 produced so far.

In its most recent quarterly financial call, on February 7, CEO Elon Musk pointed to issues with battery-module assembly as being primarily to blame. At that time, Musk said that Tesla hoped to fix some key pinch points and reach a production rate of 2500 cars per week by the end of March. But a week short of that date, it’s still far from that near-term goal. And when it has such a backlog of customers wanting a Model 3—any Model 3—the company has little incentive to deliver on the affordability promise any sooner.

For Further Reading

Research the Tesla Model 3 on MSN Autos | Find a Tesla Model 3 near you

Follow MSN Autos on Facebook and Twitter

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Car and Driver

Car and Driver
Car and Driver
Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon