On Thursday, Elon Musk confirmed a long-held target date for Tesla’s most-anticipated car ever, the Model 3. “July,” Musk told his 8 million followers on Twitter when asked about “unveil.” Now, the car’s already been “unveiled” — the prototype saw its debut in April 2016 — but it’s reasonable to think that “July” means the earliest deliveries of the car.

This comes as somewhat surprising news because Tesla has experienced production delays and missed deadlines before with its Model X. Musk’s plans, ambitious as they are, don’t often fit a conventional or predictable time schedule; he even told investors in May 2016 that the July 1 release goal was an “impossible date.” Tesla only began testing the Model 3 on February 20, so a delay seemed inevitable. But Musk’s tweet, miraculously, seems to imply that Tesla is on its way to meeting the deadline. The earliest Model 3s will go to Tesla employees, and down the preorder list from there. Tesla is keeping the exact number secret, but an estimated 350,000 people have put down a $1,000 reservation for one of the electric cars.

The Telsa Model 3 is intended to be the first relatively affordable Tesla vehicle, at $35,000; the Model S, in comparison, starts at $69,900, and that’s before adding the most advanced specifications. Like all new Teslas, the Model 3 will come with self-driving technology. It’s already so popular that Tesla has had to start “anti-selling” it to make sure the company can meet production demand.

Musk, at least to the public, is optimistic about the July deadline. Of course, things could still go wrong. It’s impossible to predict every roadblock that will come up in the midst of production. But maybe Musk will really manage to stick to a schedule this time. Fingers crossed, anyway.


What to know more about the Model 3? Read up on everything we know about the car.