Whether Tesla is about to change the face of the motor industry by making electric cars truly mainstream, or whether it's just a car company that's extremely good at creating publicity remains to be seen. What isn't in dispute though is the fact the first of its new affordable Model 3 electric cars has finally rolled off the production line, and images of this hugely significant event have been tweeted to the world by the company's CEO, Elon Musk.
First Production Model 3 pic.twitter.com/TCa2NSUNI3— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2017
The Model 3 is the fourth vehicle to be launched by Tesla and the third that's now currently in production as it joins the considerably less affordable Model S and Model X. Model 3 sits below the Model S in the Tesla lineup and is designed to be a mass-market EV that fits into the price range where people are currently buying electric cars, and can represent an opportunity for more people to buy into the Tesla brand.
The very first unit to come off the production line had been given the designation "SN1," meaning serial number 1, and as it went through for final inspection Elon Musk tweeted, "Production unit 1 of Model 3 is now built and going through final checkout. Pics soon."
The first car was reserved for Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis, who, instead of keeping the car for himself, decided to give it away as a 46th birthday present for none other than Elon Musk. Ehrenpreis will have the second car off the line for himself instead, but although both cars will be significant due to their chassis numbers, they certainly won't be rare cars once production is ramped up to where Tesla intends it to be.
In fact, hundreds of thousands of deposits have already been taken for the new Tesla model that will have a starting price of around $35,000. Tesla hopes to soon be producing as many as half a million units of the car per year, and the first 30 examples will be delivered to their eager buyers on July 28. It's intended that a further 100 customers will get their Model 3 in August, and it will then grow substantially to 1,500 units in September and as many as 20,000 per month from December onwards.