Fresh YORK (AP) — Electrical car maker Tesla says its keenly awaited Model three car for the masses will go on sale on Friday.
CEO Elon Musk made the announcement Monday on Twitter.
The car is to begin around $35,000 and with a $7,500 federal electrified car tax credit, could cost $27,500. Tesla says the five-seat car will be able to go one hundred thirty three miles (215 kilometers) on a single charge and will be sporty, accelerating from zero to sixty miles per hour in under six seconds.
Musk had said that production was on track to commence in July, but Tesla has often faced delays in getting vehicles to market. The Palo Alto, California-based company aims to make Five,000 Model three sedans per week by the end of this year and Ten,000 per week in 2018.
Tesla hasn’t said how many people have put down $1,000 refundable deposits for the Model Trio, but Musk has said people who put down a deposit now won’t get a car until the end of 2018, suggesting it could be close to 500,000.
Whether Tesla can meet its production goals is an open question. Its last fresh vehicle, the Model X SUV, was delayed almost eighteen months. Musk says the Model three is much simpler to make, but 14-year-old Tesla has no practice producing and selling vehicles in high volumes. Tesla made just 84,000 cars last year. Fatter rivals like General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota routinely sell around ten million vehicles per year.
Even if the Model three is on time, servicing all those vehicles will still be a challenge. Model S and Model X owners are already worried about having to share Tesla’s company-owned charging stations with an influx of fresh cars. And while Tesla is promising to increase its network of stores and service centers by thirty percent this year, it began two thousand seventeen with just two hundred fifty service centers worldwide. That leaves many potential owners miles from a service center.
Musk has said a fresh fleet of mobile service trucks will be deployed to help customers who are far from service centers. Tesla also plans to dual its global high-speed charging points to Ten,000 by the end of this year and increase them by another fifty percent-100 percent in 2018.
Until recently, Tesla wielded the market for fully-electric vehicles that can go two hundred miles (324 kilometers) or more on a charge. But that’s switching. GM hit Tesla to the mass market with the Chevrolet Bolt, a $36,000 car that goes two hundred thirty eight miles (about two hundred kilometers) per charge. Audi plans to introduce an electrified SUV with three hundred miles (486 kilometers) of range next year; Ford will have one by 2020. Volkswagen plans more than thirty electrical vehicle models by 2025.
Automotive competitors like Mercedes and Volvo — not to mention tech companies like Google and Uber — can also match Tesla’s efforts to develop self-driving vehicles. And they have deeper pockets. Tesla has had only two profitable quarters in its seven years as a public company.