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article imageThe first thirty Tesla Model 3 electric cars bought by employees

By Ken Hanly     Jul 31, 2017 in Business
Fremont - Elon Musk the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla claimed that the electric car maker had already more than half a million advance reservations for the new Model 3 that is relatively inexpensive for a fully electric car.
Musk presented the first 30 units off the assembly line to employee buyers. The vehicle starts at a price of $35,000 U.S. and has a range of 350 kilometers on one charge.
The new model represents a significant change in company policy as earlier Tesla concentrated upon expensive luxury electric cars. While the models start out at $35,000 you have only the choice of the color black at that price. To have any other color it will cost you over $40,000. The $35,000 starting price does not include any government incentives. Musk said that he is confident that the Model 3 will turn out to be the best car in its class. Tesla's strategy is to become a profitable mass market electric car producer.
The Model 3 was first announced in March of 2016 and production started just this July. As well as producing electric cars, the Tesla company specializes in manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for energy storage, and they also produce solar panels through a subsidiary Solar City. Tesla has a network of high-powered Superchargers located across North America, Europe, and Asia, for charging Tesla vehicles. The batteries for Tesla vehicles are built at the Gigafactory 1 near Reno Nevada.
The Tesla company is named after the Serb-U.S. inventor and entrepreneur Nicola Tesla best known for the contributions he made to the supply of alternating current (AC) electricity systems. He had many ups and downs in his career losing out on risky business ventures more than once.
Musk admitted that his company was facing challenges during the early period of the production of the Model 3 as he told journalists: "We're going to go through at least six months of manufacturing hell." In April of 2016, there were already 373,000 advance reservations for the new model but as mentioned earlier this number is now over half a million.
Musk said that new buyers would not likely receive their cars until the end of 2018. A refundable $1,000 deposit is required to make a reservation. There is a Model 3 website where you can reserve your car or find out more information about the model. A more expensive version of the Model 3 starts at $44,000 U.S. but can travel up to 500 kilometers on a single charge. There are no buttons or knobs on the dashboard, but there is a 15 inch touchscreen display to the right of the driver.
To produce the 500,000 reserved vehicles next year Tesla would need a pace of production six times that in 2016. If it were actually to produce 500,000 cars in a year and sell them it would beat out, BMW, Mercedes or Lexus brands in the United States.
Tesla has faced delays and quality problems in production of earlier models. However, Musk says that the Model 3 has a simple design. Tesla has spent over $2 billion in 2017 ahead of this launch. A steady delivery of the vehicles could generate a much needed flow of cash that might allow the company to continue production without having to go to capital markets to raise more cash to keep afloat and fund its operations.
In anticipation of the launch of the new model, Tesla shares have risen 54 percent since this January resulting in a valuation of the company higher than that of auto giants, General Motors, and Ford Motor Co. Tesla's plan is not only to enter the mass market with electric cars, but to build a huge clean energy and transportation company that will produce electric semi-trucks, rooftop solar energy systems, and large-scale battery storage systems.
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