Tesla Model 3 Post-Reveal Thoughts

Some commentary and speculation…

  • The base Model 3 is game-changing for its price, range, and features.  At $35,000 before incentives, it’s just a bit more than the $30,680 base Nissan Leaf which only has a 107 mile range.  While the base Chevy Bolt, priced at $37,500, has a 238 mile range, it lacks supercharging, autopilot hardware, and the navigation/infotainment system of the Tesla.
  • Some are complaining that the long range upgrade ($9000 for 310 miles) is too expensive.  It seems as though there could have been 3 battery options for the Model 3 with 220 miles being the base battery, a 265 mile mid-range option for $4500 more, and the 310 mile long-range option for $9000 more. In the interest of simplicity and mass production goals, the mid-range option was dropped.  It would make sense to eventually have a mid-range $4500 option as the two other options for the Model 3 (Premium Upgrades Package and Enhanced Autopilot) also cost around $5000.
  • The 18″ aero wheels are standard, suggesting that the increased efficiency was critical to achieving the stated ranges.  Otherwise, Tesla would have likely offered the aero wheels as an upgrade option as it did with the Model S.
  • The electronically controlled vents are game-changing, assuming the settings are saved to the driver profiles.
  • The 15 speaker sound system in the Premium Upgrades Package suggests that the Model 3 sound system is more closely related to the amazing 17 speaker Model X sound system than to the nice-but-not-so-great 11 speaker Model S sound system.
  • The upcoming dual motor Model 3 is unlikely to have increased range compared to the rear wheel drive Model 3.  This is because the Model 3 motor is already a high efficiency motor (unlike the Model S where the large RWD motor is higher performing but lower efficiency).  Adding a second motor simply increases the weight.  Additionally, the Model 3 delivery estimator clearly states the dual motor Model 3 has the same 220 and 310 mile range options.
  • The standard features of the non-Premium Upgrades Package car are likely not finalized.  There is still a chance some of the features in the PUP will be made standard for production simplicity.  For example, the power seats, glass roof, and covered storage are all items that might be moved into the base feature set. In particular, recent comments about cloud based driver profiles and an easy exit feature would imply a need for power seats as a standard feature.  Tesla could even increase the base price slightly (for all new orders after a certain date) to accommodate a few more standard features.
  • The inside camera could be used for motion/gesture controls in the future.  Imagine being able to point to exactly where you want the HVAC vents to aim.  The camera could also be used to determine attentiveness during autopilot, in place of the current “hold steering wheel” prompts.
  • Tesla didn’t discount Autopilot, FSDC, or Premium Upgrades Package for the Model 3.  This suggests that Dual Motor All Wheel Drive also won’t be discounted and will have the same $5000 price as in the Model S.
  • The “something special” gift for Day 1 reservations is still to be announced.  A “Founder’s Edition” or “Signature Edition” badge would seem to be a low cost option, though line-waiters would probably appreciate something more substantive such as free supercharging or special option choices (exterior color, wheels, etc.,).
  • The Model 3 Long Range has a 75-80kWh battery.  We can assume that the Model 3 Performance Dual Motor AWD variant will therefore achieve a 0-60mph time similar to the Model S P85D Ludicrous, with the lighter weight offsetting the smaller battery.  Expect a 0-60mph time of 2.9 to 3.1 seconds and a price $15,000 to $25,000 more than the Model 3 Long Range.