On Wednesday, Elon Musk teased the masses with two tweets on the upcoming Tesla Model 3.
@elonmusk $35k price, unveil in March, preorders start then.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 2, 2015
We’ve known for some time now that the Tesla Model 3 would be a more affordable, all-electric sedan for middle-America, but we’re no less excited that the countdown has officially begun. In his tweets, Musk confirmed that the model will be $35,000 and will be unveiled in March – which is also when the company will start taking pre-orders.
Featuring less prominently in the news is the Tesla Model X, which the company has promised to start rolling out this month. This EV is projected to get 240 miles per charge and hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. It also comes with gull wing doors.
Of course, the starting price will still be over $100,000, which puts it beyond the pocket books of most Americans.
The significantly cheaper Model 3 could be an equally significant game-changer for the electric vehicle market. Tesla is currently top-dog in terms of electric performance and reliability, but until now its high cost has made it a stranger to middle-class garages. This is why Tesla started such a fervor over its planned “gigafactory” last year, with the company promising that the massive investment needed to get it up and running would help it mass-produce its lithium-ion batteries and put out a car that everyone can drive.
Five states were in the running to be the birthplace of the Model 3, with each outdoing the others in promises and subsidies (and California embarrassing itself by going so far as to potentially waive its own environmental law). Nevada ended up the winner in that contest, promising almost $1.3 billion in subsidies that will allow Tesla to operate in the state “essentially tax-free for a decade,” as the LA Times put it.
Of course, there are a few perks that come with that astronomical price. Tesla will sell cars directly to Nevada consumers and provide them with an extended economic development rate rider electric program (i.e. discounted rates for electricity). Tesla will also donate $1 million to advance battery research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
There’s a lot of money being tossed around but Elon Musk is one of the staunchest advocates that EVs and renewables are the unequivocal path to the future. Musk, who is the CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX and the chairman of SolarCity, has called fossil fuels the “dumbest experiment in history” due to their detrimental effects on the environment.
“The greater the change to the chemical composition of the physical, chemical makeup of the oceans and atmosphere [due to increased carbon emissions], the greater the long-term effect will be,” he told Tim Urban back in June. “Given that at some point they’ll run out anyway, why run this crazy experiment to see how bad it’ll be? We know it’s at least some bad, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is that it’ll be really bad.”