Originally published on Gas2.
An alert motorist came across a white Tesla Model 3 out for a drive on Interstate 280, the nearest highway to Tesla headquarters and the main thoroughfare between San Francisco and San Jose. Reddit user spruceeffects got out his smartphone as he drove alongside and captured the car’s most remarkable feature — its all glass roof. Tesla recently introduced the glass roof as an option on the Model S, so it is not surprising that it will be offered on the Model 3 as well.
Recent photos of early release cars have shown it will have a front windshield that sweeps back into the roof. It is not quite as dramatic as the waterfall windshield fitted to the Model X, but when the glass roof is added, it has the effect of making for a completely transparent run all the way from the front cowl to the rear trunk lid. Impressive stuff.
When Tesla introduced the glass roof option for the Model S last November, CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “I highly recommend the new all glass roof on the Model S. This was very hard to develop, but it makes the interior feel amazing.”
The glass roof is the work of an internal division within the company known as Tesla Glass, which Musk says is staffed by “some really phenomenal people.” It is likely the glass roof may have wires embedded in it to defrost it in cold climates. There is even speculation that the company could add solar cells to it to help keep the battery charged and extend driving range. Toyota has announced it is doing something similar with the glass roof option now available on the Prius Prime.
Don’t expect the glass roof to be included in early production cars. Tesla says it will begin ramping up production by building lots of cars configured exactly alike to simplify the building process. It is likely that lower priced cars will be manufactured first and cars with expensive options will be delayed until the company has the production process well sorted out. The first regular production cars are expected to start rolling off the assembly line in July of this year.
As indicated yesterday, the Model 3 is the electric car that over 2,000 EV drivers we surveyed said they were most likely to buy next. That was the selection of approximately 35–50% of the >2,000 EV drivers living in 26 European countries, 49 of 50 US states, and 9 Canadian provinces.