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Tesla delivering first of new Model 3s to customers "Let's hand out some cars", said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Tesla Model 3 will also be available with long range version that claims to have a range of 500 kilometers and costs $44,000.

The biggest news is pricing, which still lists at $35,000 to start, as expected, but which can go as high as $59,500 if you load it up with the Tesla equivalent of the kitchen sink.

Of course, why would you push your luck when the Model 3 is fully compatible with Tesla's network of Supercharger stations.

The Model 3 is equipped with eight cameras, forward radar and twelve ultrasonic sensors that assist the vehicle in avoiding collisions and performing automatic emergency braking. The air vents are now invisible, the lack of any instrument cluster means that the dash is clean, there is also no key to enter the auto.

If the Model 3 fails, it will be a huge blow to the electric auto market, said Acevedo.

Musk repeated his pledge to boost Model 3's annual production rate to 500,000 next year, but acknowledged there'd have to be a sharp ramp-up to meet that target.

And Musk isn't forgetting about the S and the X. He made sure to thank the buyers of those more expensive models.

At first, all Model 3 sedans will be rear-wheel-drive. Once Musk took the stage, he thanked Tesla employees and then unveiled the 30 first production Model 3s and their new owners were able to get behind the steering wheels. Invitations will be sent based on the date and time you placed your reservation, whether you are an employee, if you own a Tesla, and if we have started production in your country.

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So there's one less thing to keep in mind to put in your pocket every morning, but one big problem if you run out of battery.

Not only does the Model 3 have to contend with competition from established automakers that already have solid sales and fix operations in place. There will be smartphone docks inside the cars - so long as you can get in. She's borrowing a friend's Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid while she waits. About half a million people have put down a thousand dollar deposit on the Model 3.

"It's kind of like organic food".

But making cars has proved a challenge to Musk. Despite being a few inches shorter than the S, the Model 3 does not skimp on the legroom.

If Tesla can successfully produce and sell that many cars a year, it will outperform BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus in the US. The Model 3 is one of the only cars in the world that doesn't need a key for entry, instead using your phone's Bluetooth function, or an RFID key in the shape of a credit card - an actual credit card, not the massive Renault credit card-sized key. But already it doesn't appear to be sticking to its schedule.

Elon Musk said, "We aimed for a very simple, clean design, because in the future - really, the future being now - the cars will be increasingly autonomous". The company has only had two profitable quarters since it went public in 2010. In the top left corner of the screen, speed and AutoPilot information is displayed and remains static while driving.

Combined sales of Model S and Model X vehicles in the first half of this year were estimated to tally from 47,000 to 50,000.


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