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. The latest prototype was unveiled in April 2016; Musk means that we’ll see the final product this July. After that, Tesla will begin mass production of the vehicle.
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 goal was an “impossible date.” Tesla only began testing the Model 3 on February 20, so a delay seemed inevitable. But incredibly, Musk’s tweet 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, 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.