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Tesla Model 3 to be introduced this month

By raccars Published

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The Tesla Model 3 launches 31st March. Will this premium electric car challenge the BMW 3 Series?

The Tesla Model S premium sports EV has done a lot to improve the public image of the electric car, but Elon Musk is now taking on the likes of the mighty BMW 3 Series and the Lexus IS, with a compact electric hatchback. Not only is the Tesla Model 3 affordable, it's also practical with a 200 mile single charge range and engaging driving dynamics.

Tesla Model 3 from £35,000

This is Tesla's attempt to join the mainstream. The firm's model output is expected to reach 35,000 units this year, but the plan is to exceed six figures by the end of the decade, with the Model 3 playing a major role in increasing sales volumes. With a starting price of around £35,000, the Model 3 is still a distinctly premium prospect.

However, it shows that the gap between electric and combustion engined vehicles is narrowing, which is essential if electric cars are to be truly embraced by the public. Certainly the Model 3 is far more affordable than the £50,000 plus Model S and Model X.

EV market on the edge of a boom

The Model 3 is set to arrive in 2017 and the car is an important part of Tesla's future plans. The company's earlier models were beset by delays and Tesla's share price recently took a hit. As a relatively young company in automotive terms, the markets will be keeping a careful eye on what's going on with the Model 3's production schedule as development progresses.

The electric car market is becoming an interesting place at the moment and Tesla's Model 3 could become one of the most important models in the sector if all goes according to plan. Its only serious rival in Europe at this stage is the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera-e family hatchback, with similar performance statistics and a starting price of £30,000, and also due to launch in 2017.

Taking on BMW

The Model 3 will be available to order from 1st April but Tesla is remaining tight lipped on details until the big 31 March reveal in Los Angeles, with few pictures available as yet. The Model S was recently announced in the bluntly named 'Ludicrous' format, which takes straight line performance to 0-60mph in just 2.8 seconds, so Tesla is certainly capable of providing a rival to the BMWs M3 and M4.

The Model 3's battery configuration has not yet been confirmed, but Tesla has had time to further refine its battery technology and the smaller, lighter format should ensure rapid performance and market-leading range characteristics.

Tesla is determined that the Model 3, like the Model X, should compete with traditional combustion engined cars for driving experience and range. The BMW M3 can cover 423 miles on one tank and the Model 3 is set to offer at least 200 miles between charges. UK Tesla owners will also benefit from the free-to-use Tesla Supercharger Network, which the company is hoping will soon cover the whole of the UK.

Tesla planning global reach

The company is also said to be planning a research and development facility in the UK and a possible European production facility which, with the help of the Model 3, should take it closer to its mainstream ambitions. The Model 3's lower price tag will be key to its success and has been made possible largely by new battery technology, for which Tesla is opening a new facility called the Gigafactory in Nevada. The firm will be producing its own batteries there and may possibly supply third parties such as Nissan and Mercedes.

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