Tesla just officially announced that it is opening up ordering for the Standard Range Model 3 today, following a brief Twitter tease about a big announcement today at 2pm Pacific.
The Standard Range Tesla Model 3
The new Standard Range Model 3 will come to the market with the expected 220 miles of range and be available at the $35,000 price point. Combining that with the available federal, state, and local rebates makes the new Standard Range Tesla Model 3 one of the most affordable, feature-packed long-range electric vehicles in the world.
The Standard Range Model 3 will have a lower top speed of a still lofty 130 miles per hour and maintain a 0–60 mph time of 5.6 seconds. The beautiful part about the Standard Range Model 3 is that, while the range is lower, the bones of the car remain the same. It looks and feels like a Tesla. It drives like a Tesla. And it will still accelerate like a Tesla.
Tesla also surprised us with a new Standard Range Plus configuration that offers buyers a bit more range — 240 miles of range — that brings with it an improvement in performance. The Standard Range Plus configuration can go from 0–60 mph in just 5.3 seconds and has a top speed of 140 miles per hour. That’s damn fast and is only $2,000 more than its little brother, at $37,000. The Standard Range Plus also comes with “most premium interior features,” which is a nice bonus and serves as the cherry on top of what looks like the sweetest deal in the family.
At the top of that list is safety. Tesla’s three vehicles, including the Model 3, have achieved the highest safety ratings in their respective classes, and that holds true for the Standard Range Model 3. It retains its 5-star crash rating, as enabled by its low center of gravity, thanks to the skateboard battery design, supplemented by its advanced active safety systems.
The Standard Range and Standard Range Plus are both available for ordering on Tesla’s website today, though orders will be processed and delivered based on the place in line for reservation holders.
Interestingly, in addition to the current configurations, including the Mid Range, Long Range All-Wheel Drive and Model 3 Performance builds, Tesla is bringing back the Model 3 Long Range, Rear-Wheel Drive in the U.S.. That amounts to a lot of different base configurations for a vehicle that was designed from the ground up to simply the supply chain and manufacturing processes. Expect some pruning of these configurations in the next few weeks as Tesla works through its existing inventory of parts, with the Mid-Range first on the chopping block.
Tucked into the news of the Standard Range Model 3 was an update on Autopilot. Tesla slashed the up front price of Autopilot from $5,000 to $3,000, making the system much more affordable for buyers to get into. It also re-introduced the option to purchase Full Self-Driving up front, for $5,000.
To make the numbers work, Tesla shifted some of the more significant features previously included in Autopilot up to its Full Self-Driving package including Navigate-on-Autopilot, Summon and Autopark. That comes as a bit of a bummer, but considering that the total price for Autopilot and Full Self-Driving drops from $10,000 to $8,000, it feels like a fair compromise. The lower bar of entry for Autopilot itself will also help to lure more buyers into the promise of Full Self-Driving as Tesla starts pushing out FSD updates.
Beyond the battery, Tesla is adding two new offerings for the interior of the Model 3. Starting with the roof, which we really didn’t know what Tesla was going to do and it turns out that they aren’t going to do anything. All Model 3s at all trim levels will come with the glass roof as the standard roof, which is a relief because that glass roof is just beautiful and is a drastic improvement on the in-car experience.
All configurations will also include auto-dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors. This will help the Model 3 in dense cities where cars without folding mirrors essentially have a built-in monthly fee to pay for the inevitable mirrors being sheared off by parking on tight streets. Custom driver profiles and bluetooth media streaming are also included in all Model 3s.
- Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection
- Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors
- Music and media over Bluetooth ®
- Custom driver profiles
The Standard Range Model 3 will come with a Standard Interior that takes away a few of the more luxurious options for the interior in exchange for more basic offerings. That starts with the seat and steering which both revert to manual adjustments in the Standard Interior.
Cloth seats and a more basic trim help keep costs down on the fabric side of things while the audio system is, as expected, offered with a basic audio system. The center console actually keeps its 4 USB ports, which is a nice surprise as the two rear ports were widely expected to disappear in the base configuration. The Standard Interior does not include the smartphone docks that are included in the two higher trims,
- Manual seat and steering adjustment
- Cloth seats and base trim
- Basic audio
- Standard maps and navigation
- Center console with storage and 4 USB ports
Partial Premium Interior
For the Standard Range Plus model, Tesla is introducing a new Partial Premium Interior that comes with some of the features of the Premium interior, but not all of them. Power seats are a nice addition and the seats themselves come in the premium seat material and trim that all Model 3s to date have shipped with.
Partial Premium also gets an upgraded audio system that’s more fleshed out than the basic audio system that comes with the Standard Interior, but doesn’t deliver the full-blown experience that comes with the Premium Interior.
- 12-way power adjustable heated front seats
- Premium seat material and trim
- Upgraded audio – immersive sound
- Standard maps & navigation
- LED fog lamps
- Center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones
100% Online Sales
The cost cutting required to deliver the low cost $35,000 Standard Range Model 3 was severe and will see Tesla moving all of its automotive sales online. Said another way, Tesla is closing all of its sales centers. Some will transition into showrooms where people can come to look at and see the vehicles, but to buy one, they will have to head online on a computer or even on a phone.
Elon said that it took less than a minute to buy a Tesla online, which is actually a bit of a scary prospect if you ask me. Drunk dialing is one thing, but what about the first person to order a Tesla while intoxicated? On that note, Tesla is extending its return policy to a full 7 days after purchase to give online buyers more peace of mind that they can always just return it if they don’t like it.
The Standard Range Model 3 goes on sale today at Tesla.com for $35,000 or you can spring for the Standard Range Plus for $37,000. Elon said that orders that go in today should expect to get their car by the end of June, or by the end of the next tax credit cliff, when the federal tax credit for Tesla buyers in the US gets slashed in half again.
Overseas buyers will understandably have to wait a bit longer, with orders opening up online in 1-2 months and deliveries firing off in 3-6 months. For many buyers, the news likely resets the clock on their wait time for their new vehicle, but when that comes with the opportunity to save $10,000, and a much lower price for Autopilot it’s not all bad news.
The new Standard Range and Standard Range Plus configurations give buyers an amazing value at great price points. I personally think that the Standard Range Plus is the best value in Tesla’s lineup today and couldn’t imagine not spending the extra $2,000 considering all that you get for the money.
We were shocked by the news that the Standard Range Model 3 went on sale today, but it’s a good kind of surprise. This is the car we have all been waiting for and it is finally here. Hitting the $35,000 price point opens up Tesla’s vehicles to millions more buyers around the world and opens up the possibility of driving an electric vehicle to new customers who simply could not afford a long range electric car until today. The future is now.
To learn more about the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range and Standard Range Plus, head over to Tesla’s website but be warned: you can buy one in less than a minute and they are contagious. There’s also a nice post on Tesla’s official blog that broke the news about the new configurations to the world.