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Published on May 14th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan


Just Happened: Tesla Model 3 Supplier Test Drives

May 14th, 2016 by  

It’s no secret: Tesla is aiming to very quickly ramp up its production capacity, and a big part of that is its suppliers and their own production capacity.

With the “final” Model 3 design just getting completed, a big next step is figuring out exactly who will be supplying all of the various parts for the highly coveted vehicle.

Yesterday marked an important day in that process, reportedly being “supplier test drive day.” A TMC forum member with the username “BigMskiman” works down the street from the Tesla factory in Fremont and happened across the event. He/She snapped a couple of beautiful pictures of the silver Model 3 in the parking lot. Enjoy:

Tesla Model 3 silver supplier tets drive day 1 Tesla Model 3 silver supplier tets drive day 2

The black one that was also used for test drives at the Model 3 unveiling (see our exclusive test track pictures and 20 minutes of video) was apparently also present, but not for long, and BigMskiman didn’t have a good chance to snap a photo of it.

Pretty beautiful car, no? And BigMskiman said the same as Kyle and me — the Model 3 looks really nice in person, up close. It looks better in person than in pictures, imho, but I guess it’s a hard thing to compare since picture vary so much.

One exciting thing to me is that the Model 3 unveiled on March 31 seems much further along than the Model X that was originally unveiled in a similar manner. It wasn’t until ordering began that we really saw a finalized Model X, but I get the impression this is very close to a finalized Model 3. (See: “Tesla Model 3 Drivetrain At March 31 Launch Was Production” & “Holy Cow, Tesla Has Moved Its 500,000 Cars-A-Year Aim To 2018.”)

Of course, we’re still waiting on “Unveiling Part 2” and a finalized interior, and the trunk may be altered a bit to make it more utilitarian. Also, there’s the possibility Tesla could change the frontend a bit based on consumer feedback. But with the drivetrain finalized and full design a few weeks away from being finalized, per Elon’s words on the last Tesla financials call, one can presume that these initial spy shots capture what we will basically be seeing on the road in a couple of years … on a lot of roads.

And remember, a clay model of the Model 3 from 2010 looks quite similar to the car that was just unveiled, so it’s clear Tesla has been pretty far along in the design for a long time, and has just been tweaking things.

Seen any more Tesla Model 3 spy shots lately? Drop us a note.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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