Published on July 16th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Tesla Model E Is Officially Named Tesla Model III

July 16th, 2014 by  


Originally posted on Gas2

In an exclusive interview with AutoExpress, Elon Musk revealed that the car formerly known as the Tesla Model E will actually be called the Tesla Model 3. With a starting priced of around $35,000 and a promised driving range of at least 200 miles, Musk also revealed details about an upcoming upgrade for  the Tesla Roadster.

As was widely reported, Tesla had indeed been seeking to trademark the “Model E” moniker, though Ford shot that down, claiming they wanted to use that trademark for themselves. Doubtful, but that certainly didn’t stop Musk, who says the new car will instead be called the Model 3. For those of you well versed in “1337” speak, 3 can be translated to E, meaning there will be the Model S, Model X, and Model 3…or S 3 X. Oh Elon, you speak for my oh-so-nerdy-soul.

Musk says that the Model 3 will be represented by three bars, though whether those bars are vertical (III) or horizontal (≡) he didn’t specify, S-E-X lives on…in a way. More importantly, Musk confirmed that the Model 3 will have a “realistic” driving range of 200 miles and a price of $35,000, giving it the same range but at about half the cost as the entry level Tesla Model S.


Originally posted on Gas2

The Tesla CEO also promised strong performance, saying: “We want people to fall in love with their car and look forward to driving it.” And yes, the Tesla Model 3 will be compatible with the free Supercharger network, meaning fast and free refilling for consumers the world over. It will also be about 20% smaller and will use a 48 kWh battery pack for motivation of a primarily steel body structure.

Musk also dropped hints about the previously-mentioned Tesla Roadster upgrade, saying a new battery pack could give the two-seat sports car a range of 400 miles or more. That’s almost double the 245 miles the Roadster is officially rated at, and could be a tidy hold over until an actual Roadster successor hits the market sometime after the Model 3.

I knew my next new car was going to be a Tesla, and now I know what it’ll be called…the Model 3. Not the best name in the world admittedly, but I can work with it.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

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  • Calamity_Jean

    Now my only question is, How soon will they go on sale?

  • Rick Kargaard

    Very good, but still out of my price range. Charging stations in my area would help a lot, but paying that much plus paying for eletricity keeps this old pensioner out of the market. They are,however getting close. Might live long enough after all.

  • StefanoR99

    Will be putting my deposit down as soon as they are taking deposits for them.

  • Calamity_Jean

    I want one.

    Then I want a pickup truck with a range around 150 miles and some towing capacity for shorter distances.

    I know Teslas have fast-charger stations for people that are out & about, but can they still be plugged into an ordinary outlet at home?

    • Bob_Wallace


      Can be plugged in at home.

      And I want a 150 mile range pickup as well. More accurately I want a 150 mile range 4wd something. I could do pickup or I could do crossover.

      • Calamity_Jean

        Supposedly Tesla is considering making a pickup. With the battery pack partly under the cargo bed, 4WD might not be needed.

        On second thought, I could get by with an electric pickup with 100 mile range if it could tow a trailer for shorter distances.

        My husband needs a new car. I hope I can talk him into holding off buying one until the Tesla 3 is available. Won’t be easy, he’s really whining about his old beater.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Get him to buy a used Leaf or lease a new one as a ‘in-betweener’. If the range is adequate.

          • Calamity_Jean

            Great idea, thanks! Yes, the range would be adequate.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Someone wrote a post here a while back about picking up a used low mileage Leaf for a surprisingly low amount of money. And I’ve been hearing that they aren’t holding their value well in the used market.

            Worth checking out.

            I took a quick look to see what was available in the SF Bay area and there are lots. Here’s a couple of the cheaper 2011 models.

            37,000 miles $13k
            29,000 miles $14k

            Can’t tell anything about their condition. At least they weren’t underwater in Katrina….

          • Bob_Wallace

            Because I like playing with numbers….

            I checked my credit union. They’re making used car loans for 1.75%. $13k 60 months = $226.44/mo.

            13,000 annual miles with a 25 mpg car = 520 gallons of fuel.

            At US average fuel prices that’s $156/mo.

            $75 per month to drive a 2011 Leaf. Assuming no trade in/nothing down.

          • Calamity_Jean

            “And I’ve been hearing that they aren’t holding their value well in the used market.”

            Hmmm, I wonder why that is. One thing is that they are probably off lease. Ex-lessor upgraded to Tesla? Heh. There’s a Nissan dealer about 40 miles from where we are moving to. I’ll call them up after we get moved. Where we live now has no place to plug it in.

      • nakedChimp

        Hm, and then there is me figuring out for my dad how to get this thing charged out there in the bush.. :p

        • Bob_Wallace

          The Sun shine out there?

  • MarTams

    It is just a name, until the real car shows up, it is still vaporware. I would be buying when the vapor condenses into a real car, and Elon Musk honors his promise of pricing it at about $35,000 before the Federal Tax Credit and State Rebates.

    • vensonata

      Actually we need people like you to keep us optimistic types from floating away. Although tesla and Elon have delivered the goods so far, its true anything can happen. But even if they don’t get those exact numbers it will probably be in the ballpark because the tech is already here and its just some scaling up that is the final brick in the wall.

      • jeffhre

        Yep, either that or it gets lost somewhere on the dark side. Here’s to the Model 3, Long you live and high you fly.

        Elon what’d you leave for me, All in all it was just a brick in the wall. Tesla’s E + 3, Ξ + III equals the symbol for earth in construction graphics (dirt) IIIΞIII.

        T Ξ S L A

  • Lovely and brilliant compromise on the name. A horizontal 3 bar emblem would definitely be the best and most logical choice as it could readily be seen as an E to fulfill Elon’s SEX(Y) dream.

    • juxx0r

      They’re bringing S3XY back.

  • This is all pretty cool, but I’m curious about what approximately is the lifetime of the battery and the cost of its replacement…

    • vensonata

      Here is my guess. 200 miles per charge with a minimum cycle life at 90% capacity of 2000 (these are common figures of todays lithium ferrous so 2000×200= 400,000 miles! Battery replacement cost is unknowable as it will take 10 years from 2016 at least before you need a new battery on your ten year old tesla 3 and maybe you’ll just keep trucking with it or get a new one since they’ll be cheap by then. The old battery with 3000cycles left at about 70% will go in your basement to capture your roof top solar arrays production which will charge your new model3 for 20% of the cost of a gas car. I’m not kidding!

      • Bob_Wallace

        I’m not sure there will be a significant number of battery replacements once we get 200 mile range batteries.

        If one starts with a 200 mile range EV and you drive the car until it’s down to 70% capacity (140 mile range) it’s likely the car is now your second car. Or you trade it in and someone who can deal with a very efficient, lower range car will use it.

        After 150,000 miles most cars are looking pretty tired and stuff is starting to wear out.

        • vensonata

          If they would make these things out of carbon fiber like the Bmw E then they could easily last 25 years. Amory Lovins of the Rocky mountain Institute has been advocating for the “hyper car” for 20 years now. It is about time. Of course it could put a crimp in planned obsolence that keeps the economy hummng.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We could build 25 year life cars but we’d either have to significantly upgrade all the systems (power windows, etc.) and/or make things very modular (headliners, seats, etc.).

            There would have to be enough people willing to drive a very out of date car (Where’s my self-steering, dude?).

            And as 200 mile range EVs drop below $25k a lot of people are simply going to what a more modern looking car.

            I think we are probably better off looking for ways to build cars that can be close to 100% recyclable with minimum amount of energy.

          • vensonata

            Good perspective, Bob. And true about the self driving car just around the corner.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I hope the self-driving it’s too far off. It could help me avoid moving to town in a decade or so.

            Right now I’d love adaptive cruise control and drowsy driver alerts. People who drive the speed limit but don’t maintain a constant speed annoy me and I’m of an age when naps suddenly seem very appealing. I do a pretty good job of keeping it between the lines when I’m awake.

            I certainly wouldn’t object to collision avoidance systems either. Between drunk drivers and deer who think they’re chickens….

          • nakedChimp

            “I hope the self-driving it’s too far off. It could help me avoid moving to town in a decade or so.” I hope it comes with the ability to ‘take a nap’ while the computer is driving 🙂

          • Bob_Wallace

            Right now I’d be happy with a snoozing alarm.

            I recently drove cross country and nodded out for a second or two (?). Stayed in my lane, but scared the hell out of me.

            Self-driving cars will be greatly appreciated. Commute times can become either productive, letting people accomplish things going to/from work and (hopefully) shortening the work day or enjoyable, letting people watch TV/read/whatever.

      • Thanks! Very interesting answer and impressive numbers. My comment was triggered by the info on 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid (not Plug-In), which has 8 years warranty on the battery and AFAIK battery replacement (at least, previous generations) cost thousands.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Aleksandr, given that the car will be more energy efficient, the 48 kWhr battery should last at least as long as the 60 kWhr Tesla S battery that is currently guaranteed for eight years or 201,000 kilometers. But given they have some time before it comes out they may be able to improve upon their batteries and give an even better warranty.

      • Thank you, Ronald! Sounds great. Are there any difference in battery’s efficiency between all-electric and hybrid cars?

        • nakedChimp

          To many factors to give a reasonable answer.

        • Ronald Brakels

          What nakedChimp said, too many factors to give a reasonable answer, but generally speaking, the larger the battery the less wear and tear it will suffer. That’s why the larger 85 kWhr battery for the Tesla S has an unlimited kilometer warranty. Smaller batteries will tend to be more expensive per kWhr because they have to be made to survive being charged more often and to put out more power per kilowatt-hour.

          • I understand. But my concern was not the difference between larger and smaller batteries. I was curious about differences between batteries in ELECTRIC cars and HYBRID ones.

          • Ronald Brakels

            A hybrid battery, being small, has to be particularly durable to withstand all the charging and discharging it goes through. A Prius battery gets charged a small amount each time the car brakes while a Leaf has a capacitor that accepts energy from the regenerative brakes to reduce wear and tear on the battery.

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