Tesla Sets Model 3 Reveal For March 31

Tesla Model 3Tesla Motors has announced the Model 3 reveal will take place on March 31. It will begin accepting reservations at Tesla stores on that date and online on April 1. There will be no Signature Series for the Model 3 like there was for the Model X. Reservations will require only a refundable deposit of $1,000 and will be accepted from customers worldwide, not just the US.

During the Q4 press conference, Musk said he and his team have not yet decided to do a full reveal of the car or play their cards more “close to the vest.” However, early this morning, he tweeted,

Getting a low reservation number does not guarantee you will be the first on your block to get a Model 3. Tesla organizes its production and delivery process so both are as efficient as possible. It is likely to build a truckload of cars going to one store for delivery all at the same time, for instance. In fact, the only way to get an early car is to check all the option boxes when the Model 3 Design Studio goes live in about 18 months.

“Our default plan as we have done in the past is that the initial sales are relatively highly optioned versions of the car, because we’ve got to pay back the investment of the tooling and everything, so it makes sense to have the higher optioned versions first. That’s what we did with the S and obviously again with the X,” Musk said during yesterday’s press conference.

The Model 3 will start at $35,000. That’s before any federal or state incentives, although it probably does not include a destination charge. Stock analysts Adam Jonas thinks a fully optioned car will likely cost about $60,000, however. You might have to be patient to get one at the starting price. Tesla will not build any lightly loaded Model X 70D v vehicles until at least a year after production started in late December.

The starting price for the Model 3 is half that of the least expensive Model S. Elon told the crowd yesterday that one reason the Model 3 will cost less money is because it was optimized for production from the beginning. The Model S was designed first. Then they figured out how to build it, a process the company is just now figuring out how to do efficiently.

The big question for the moment is how much will Tesla tell us about the car on March 31? It is known to make changes in prices, styling, and options right up until the moment production begins.

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.