Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also revealed that a hot variant of the new electric BMW 3 Series rival is due in mid-2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the Model 3 comes with 50kWh or 75kWh batteries during a conference call for bondholders.

Musk revealed the specifications for the first time to allow potential investors to gauge the cost of production for the new all-electric car, deliveries of which have just begun.

A Performance variant is due in 2018, but Musk has previously stated that a more powerful 100kWh battery (which is the standard battery for Tesla Performance models) would not fit into the Model 3's smaller structure. This suggesting Tesla may only slightly increase the battery size of the current range-topping 75kWh version of the Model 3.

The Model 3 Performance is due to be launched in the middle of next year, as long as the brand can cater for the high level of demand it has so far experienced for the new electric BMW 3 Series rival.

In a tweet, Musk said the "focus now is on getting out of Model 3 production hell". But he explained that adding more versions now would push the brand "deeper in hell" - suggesting it would delay the Performance's launch until output was comfortably meeting demand.

He refrained from revealing more about the Model 3 Performance's potential, but the hot version is expected to stick to Tesla's usual range-topping formula of using a dual-motor, four-wheel drive powertrain. The Model 3 is more than 400kg lighter than the Model S, so it could become the brand's quickest car.

Musk handed over the first customer Model 3 to its owner at an event at the end of July, where he also pledged to meet the massive customer demand with an ambitious production schedule.

Musk confirmed that production for the Model 3 is already ramping up at Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada, US. It expects to build 100 cars in August, before growing output to 1500 cars in September. The plant will reach maximum production from December, when it will be able to produce 20,000 cars per month. However, production of right-hand-drive models won't begin until 2019. If Tesla hits its planned production of 500,000 cars a year from the factory, analysts predict that it will outsell BMWMercedes-Benz and Lexus in the US.

Prospective Tesla Model 3 owners tell us why they're buying one

Tesla recently injected $1 billion (around £800 million) of investment into the company - something Musk has previously said would help the company meet high demand for the Model 3. To date, Tesla has had more than 500,000 pre-orders for the Model 3, with Musk saying that those cars should all be delivered before the end of 2018.

"If you order a car today, it should be with you at the end of 2018," he said, referring to production of left-hand-drive Model 3s.

Tesla has raised capital to help production and ease the financial risk associated with the production run. This has led to a rise in its share price and has been further boosted by reports of its future model plans, including the Model Y compact SUV, according to New York financiers.

However, some analysts still question Tesla's ability to ramp up from producing around 80,000 cars in the past year to 250,000 in the next 12 months.

Musk also confirmed that two versions of the Model 3 will be offered from launch: standard and Long Range models. The standard car costs from $35,000 (£26,650) and has a claimed range of 220 miles, hits 0-60mph in 5.6sec and has a top speed of 130mph. The Long Range model costs from $44,000 (£33,500), delivering an official 310 miles of range, 0-60mph in 5.1sec and a 140mph top speed.

Read the full tech details of the Tesla Model 3

No details of UK pricing or delivery dates in 2019 have been revealed, but the entry-level price is expected to be just over £30,000 after the £4500 government grant for zero-emissions vehicles is applied. That will pitch it against the likes of the Audi A4BMW 3 SeriesJaguar XE and Mercedes C-Class in terms of pricing and size.

Model 3 owners will not get free access to the Tesla Supercharger high-speed charging system, with the company planning to charge for electricity as demand grows and it requires more investment to build up the network of chargers.

Read our Tesla Model X road test

Tesla also says it aims to deliver a total of 47,000-50,000 Model S and Model X cars in the first half of this year, but it hasn't given a figure for Model 3 target sales.

The company has, however, reaffirmed its pledge to deliver 500,000 vehicles in 2018 and one million in 2020, when the Gigafactory is expected to reach full capacity - a sharp rise from the 80,000 cars delivered in 2016.

Read more - Tesla's Gigafactory in numbers

Join the debate

Comments
44

24 February 2017
By the time Tesla starts producing a million cars a year - projected 2020 - it would have moved the transport world away from the fossil fuels by quite a bit.

3 July 2017
It's peanuts in this industry and makes me wonder why people - hacks and readers - give Elon Musk such an easy ride. Any other motor industry CEO is treated with some degree of scepticism, and if Musk was in any industry except this one he'd be written off online as a tax-avoiding fat-cat scumbag rather than the People's Hero.

3 July 2017
Byzantine wrote:

if Musk was in any industry except this one

You're joking, right? Please tell me you are joking.

4 July 2017
But there are billionaires the public love to hate and billionaires whom they love and forgive for the precisely the same qualities - and whom they believe are infallible and will somehow save the world. None of the reporting of Tesla is anything like the coverage other companies gets. Little scrutiny, almost zero scepticism, just join the queue to say what a hero he is and to accept as truth anything we're old.

7 July 2017
Byzantine wrote:

But there are billionaires the public love to hate and billionaires whom they love and forgive for the precisely the same qualities - and whom they believe are infallible and will somehow save the world. None of the reporting of Tesla is anything like the coverage other companies gets. Little scrutiny, almost zero scepticism, just join the queue to say what a hero he is and to accept as truth anything we're old.

Maybe it's because he's offering a vision that people believe in? (400K deposits) He and VW have turned the auto industry upside down in the last couple of years .. a shake up that's been a long time coming , especially for the German OEMs.

10 July 2017
Exactly. Tesla has been subjected to much scrutiny (Autocar included) but customers and investors have bet on the company in a big way.

29 July 2017

This is just the start. Expect to see many more EV's in the road in the coming years. And many more manufacturers competing with Tesla. Time to embrace the future and ditch the old fossils that we currently drive.

3 July 2017
fadyady wrote:

By the time Tesla starts producing a million cars a year - projected 2020 - it would have moved the transport world away from the fossil fuels by quite a bit.

Even if that happens, it's only 1.3% of global passenger car sales, and doesn't even take into account commercial vehicles. Also, much of the power for charging EVs still comes from fossil fuels. Interesting if it happens, but it's not changing much.

4 July 2017
steve-p wrote:

Also, much of the power for charging EVs still comes from fossil fuels. Interesting if it happens, but it's not changing much.

Three things:

1. Fossil fuels account for less than half of the national grid in Britain.

2. The vast majority of fossil fuel on the grid is natural gas, which produces less than half the CO2 of coal.

3. Electric motors are several times more efficient than combustion engines. So even if an EV is running on pure coal (unlikely), there's still a mild CO2 improvement over most petrol/diesel engines. Not to mention the arguably more important factor that the cars don't produce NOx, CO or tailpipe particulates.

As for how much it changes, Tesla's just the one company. 500k or a million cars may not be much, but the question is how much EV uptake it incites in other manufacturers.

4 July 2017
Vertigo wrote:

Three things:

1. Fossil fuels account for less than half of the national grid in Britain.

2. The vast majority of fossil fuel on the grid is natural gas, which produces less than half the CO2 of coal.

3. Electric motors are several times more efficient than combustion engines. So even if an EV is running on pure coal (unlikely), there's still a mild CO2 improvement over most petrol/diesel engines. Not to mention the arguably more important factor that the cars don't produce NOx, CO or tailpipe particulates.

As for how much it changes, Tesla's just the one company. 500k or a million cars may not be much, but the question is how much EV uptake it incites in other manufacturers.

It is a mistake to talk specifically about Britain as though what Britain does or does not do will have any actual bearing on world CO2 levels. How about the energy mix in China, USA, Brazil, India, Russia, etc? Or HVAC systems in US buildings, which consume six times as much energy as the average car? Air transport? Bulk carriers, and container ships? Factories? Home cooking and heating? EVs are not going to save the planet on their own. If that's what you're looking for, better adjust your expectations.

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