Tesla announced new details for its Model 3

BUSINESS Tesla's Model 3 has'mass appeal' but that doesn't mean you can afford it 29 Jul 2017 11:05am 5 minutes to read Tesla Model 3

Thirty of the earliest Tesla Model 3 buyers took delivery of their electric cars last night in a gala event for owners, investors, and friends the company had dubbed the Handover Party. "Let's hand out some cars", Musk said from the stage, where he stood near a gleaming red Tesla sedan.

Model 3s will come with the hardware for Autopilot-Tesla's partially self-driving system-already installed in its cars, but it's unclear when that feature will be fully functional and which features customers will have to pony up additional funds for.

Tesla founder Elon Musk stepped out to cheers and applause Friday evening as he unveiled the brand new Model 3, the company's affordable vehicle. In it, Musk laid out the vision for his upstart electric auto company: Build an electric sports vehicle (the Tesla Roadster), use the profits "to build an affordable car" (which became Models S and X), and use that money to make "an even more affordable auto". Only 30 customers will receive the first lot of cars from the production house.

He said the Model 3 would officially go on sale soon. It has received a number of awards, which include the coveted Motor Trend 2017 vehicle of the Year.

Like Tesla's other models, the Model 3 boasts some impressive headline figures.

"The key fundamental question is whether Model 3 can be delivered in volume, at decent margins and with good quality", Toni Sacconaghi, a Sanford C. Bernstein analyst, wrote in a note to clients Thursday.

"We do everything we can to not sell the vehicle". Musk said it was "quite likely" that his factory in Fremont, California would be producing 5,000 Model 3s a week by December, and twice that by the end of next year.

"We're going to go through at least six months of production hell", he said. Enhanced Autopilot costs $5K, and in the future a "full self-driving capability" will be a $3K option. Tesla has also spent over $2 billion in cash so far on Model 3 ahead of its launch.

The manufacturer has raised capital to help production and ease the financial risk associated with the production run, which led to a rise in its share price that was also helped by reports of its future model plans, including the Model Y compact SUV, according to NY financiers. With the Model 3, Elon Musk hopes to produce 250,000 cars a year, later expanding production to 500,000 cars a year. Indeed, that was the main catch of the event: a "long range" Model 3, the "everyman Tesla" that's, well, just a tad pricier, with a claimed range of 310 miles, that can do 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, and tops out at 140 mph.

His Boring Company is part of a vision for near-supersonic rail travel via low-pressure tubes, which he laid out in a hyperloop white paper he made open to other entrepreneurs. "If you're trying to make a difference in the world, you also need to make cars people can afford".

Sam Abuelsamid, a senior researcher with Navigant Research, said even if it doesn't meet its ambitious targets, Tesla has done more than anyone to promote electric vehicles.

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