Model 3 Update
With the dawn of Q4, Tesla has refreshed their lineup slightly, editing the range of the Model 3. The change comes to the Standard Range Plus Variant, the cheapest version Tesla currently offers in most areas.
The Hawthorne based electric car manufacturer raised the range of the Model 3 from 240 miles to 250 miles. Despite the only minor increase, this will still be significant in helping owners to reach that next Supercharger. Furthermore, it may allow some to complete journeys which were otherwise impossible without charging.
Alongside this range increase, Tesla has raised the price of the upgraded Model by $500, leaving the Model 3 at a still very affordable price of $39 490 before tax incentives and fuel savings.
Relative to the rest of the market, this is reasonable for the quality of the car. The technology inside is unrivalled, making it one the safest cars on the road, if not the safest.
As of writing, it isn’t known how Tesla managed to squeeze 10 extra miles out of their cheapest car. Similarly to the Model S and X, it could be a hardware improvement. Alternatively, Tesla is always tweaking its software, making their cars more efficient all the time.
Model 3 Deposit Decreased
In addition to the spec bump, Tesla altered the way that customers can pay for their vehicle. Previously, Tesla would take a fully refundable deposit on one of their Model 3s of $2500. They would then take full payment upon delivery, hence why their delivery figures are more important than their manufacturing numbers.
After the alterations this week, the deposit now sits at a non-refundable $100. Consequently, the car is much more affordable to a larger audience who can then pay in monthly instalments as a lease when they actually get their car.
Since this $100 is non-refundable, once you’ve placed a deposit on the Model 3, you don’t have to pay for the Model 3 in full, but you won’t get the deposit back. Perhaps this move comes from Tesla’s issues with people refunding Model 3s upon their release, perhaps due to their unexpectedly long rollout.
If you do plan on purchasing a Tesla, make sure to be completely sure about your purchase and allow for a buffer zone around their estimated delivery dates. Tesla is known for late deliveries.
Plaid Powertrain Spotted at Nurburgring
Tesla’s experimental powertrain system for the Model S has been spotted again, seemingly trying to smash its original lap time.
This is as a result of the release of the Porsche Taycan, a car which prided itself on its Nurburgring lap time of 7 minutes and 42 seconds back when it was released. As a result, Elon Musk decided to take that as a challenge, sending a plaid variant of Telsa’s Model S over to the track to see if it could beat Porsche’s record.
Shortly after, a Model S was spotted on the track, making a confirmed lap time of 7 minutes and 20 seconds, a whole 22 seconds faster than the Taycan. After that, Musk suggested that it would be possible to achieve 7 minutes and 5 seconds within the next few weeks.
That just happens to be around now, hence the sighting of the Model S back on the track. Official figures have not yet been released, but Telsa could be making some major improvements in the performance aspect of their cars soon.
Plaid is essentially a drivetrain system which will allow Model S (and possibly roadster) to achieve tremendous performance statistics. Similarly to the Roadster, it will feature three motors, two on one axel, one on the other.
Over 800 horsepower will be unleashed from 117 kWh of usable battery space, a 40 kWh increase from the ‘old’ Model S. Although we don’t know many more details, we can be sure that Plaid will beat the vast majority of internal combustion engine hypercars in multiple metrics.
Production Go-ahead in China
As Model 3 capacity in Northern America remains at a stable peak, Tesla is looking to expand into other markets. The best place to start with that expansion was China, a country which has recently allowed Tesla to be the first car manufacturer to have a wholly-owned factory.
The $2 billion Gigafactory is located in Shanghai, Eastern China. It aims to produce approximately 1000 Model 3s per year, adding to the approximate 4000 cars per week in the United States.
Since the project is expected to be ready for production by the end of the year, the Chinese government has given them the go-ahead to start production as soon as they’re ready.
Within the next few months, Tesla could be heading for a huge deliveries and profits increase.
That’s it for this Tesla Weekly, I’ll be back again next week for another Tesla update!