Tesla Model 3 Deposit Amount & Launch Details Released

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Originally published on EV Obsession.

On the heels of the favorable Q4 earnings from the call yesterday afternoon, which we covered at length, Elon Musk took to the Twittersphere and dropped some of the first official details about the launch of the eagerly anticipated Tesla Model 3.

Model 3 will require a $1000 deposit, which will be accepted in Tesla stores on March 31st and online April 1st, giving those local to a Tesla store a leg up on getting in line — which will likely result in a head start of several months when it comes to taking delivery of the car sometime in 2017. One of the themes on the Q4 earnings call was the fact that demand for Tesla cars continues to outpace supply, as indicated by Tesla not having to provide any purchase incentives (if you don’t count the referral credits), the higher-than-expected resale value of Tesla Model S compared to estimates, and the continued backlog of orders for the Model S and obviously Model X, which is still ramping up to full production volumes against a 2 year queue of orders.

There has been quite a bit of speculation about the release model of the Model 3, with it being such a deviation from the Model S and Model X, since the Model 3 expected to arrive with a starting price of $35,000, to be produced at 10 times the annual rates of the Model S/X, and to be ~20% smaller than the Model S. One of the big topics that is regularly covered is the actual price of the car after rebates — rebates that will likely expire before the Model 3 makes it to market.

Stacked onto the base price of $35,000 are likely be dozens of lucrative options for more range, a second motor, autopilot functionality, and many other features that we can only imagine. In his latest Twitter blast, Elon blew one Model 3 rumor out of the water, confirming that there will be no signature series for the Model 3. This is great for a number of reasons, as it allows “normal” reservation holders to get cars on a first-come, first-served basis (to an extent) without a high deposit being required to get one of the first production cars. It also allows Tesla to build normal cars right off the bat at volume without having the extra complexity of one-off Signature cars.

Skipping Signature editions also signatures the shift of Tesla Motors from an early startup to a mass-production automotive manufacturer. While the fundamental reason for Tesla Motors is to catalyze the shift of personal transportation to sustainable transport, the Model 3 is essentially primed not just to catalyze other manufacturers to take action — though it will certainly do this as well — but perhaps also become the next Toyota Camry, the next Honda Civic, etc. In other words, dropping the Signature edition for Model 3 embraces the fact that it is a mainstream car.

The brief Twitter press release closed with a teaser that more details will trickle out over the next few weeks. Given that the Model 3 launch is planned for March 31, that’s about all the time Tesla has to work with to drop any big media bombs for Model 3, so it makes sense.

Coming out of this news, I’m expecting lines to start popping up out front of Tesla stores in the coming weeks as the crazies vie for media attention tied to arguably the most important automotive launch in the last 100 years. I’ll bring the popcorn….

More about the Model 3 was discussed on the conference call last night. You can have a listen here:

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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