Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Tesla Announces Cheaper, Mid-Range Model 3 Car

Tesla Announces Cheaper, Mid-Range Model 3 Car

The automaker is replacing the long-range battery in the rear-wheel-drive version of the compact sedan that retailed for $49,000 with a mid-range battery that drops the starting price to $45,000 and the range from 310 miles to 260 miles.

Tesla originally touted the Model 3 as the auto it would mass-produce and price for mainstream consumers after first producing luxury vehicles in the Model S and Model X. That promise helped it lure in more than 400,000 pre-orders for the vehicle.

Tesla is finally offering a less expensive version of its Model 3 electric vehicle.

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk noted in a tweet that the mid-range Model 3 costs $35,000 after federal and state tax rebates in California, but the clock is ticking on buyers being able to get a big chunk of those savings. The new version is now the cheapest available variant of Tesla 3 priced at $45,000. "Our new Mid-Range Battery is being introduced this week in the USA and Canada to better meet the varying range needs of the many customers eager to own Model 3, and our delivery estimate for customers who have ordered the Standard Battery is 4-6 months".

Musk has promised a version of the Model 3 with a base price of $35,000, which has yet to be realized.

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When asked when the new model will be available in dealerships, Musk said that he was sure that would happen before the year is out. That incentive will be cut in half for the first six months of 2019, and then gets halved again for the following six months.

Musk has said the company, a cash-burning giant that faces billions of dollars in impending debts, must push out more profitable and expensive versions first: Shipping the cheapest "Model 3 right away (would) cause Tesla to lose money & die", he tweeted in May.

To date, the company had only been offering more expensive versions of the vehicle.

When Musk announced a performance version of the Model 3 in May that cost around $80,000, he said the company needed to reach higher levels of production and reduce costs. Before the discounts, it will sell for $45,000 (roughly Rs. 33 lakhs) - though the company says buyers should think of the vehicle as far cheaper, because of the money they'll save on gas.

The midrange version has the same battery pack as the long-range model but uses fewer cells.

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