Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a big surprise for those who tuned into the Model 3’s launch party Friday night.
The electric automaker’s first mass-market car will be capable of driving 310 miles on a single charge.
The base Model 3 is priced at $US35,000 and will have a range of 220 miles.
Consumers, however, can opt for a long-range battery option that bumps the range up to 310 miles. The new battery will also improve the car’s acceleration from 5.6 seconds to 5.1 seconds.
Tesla’s Model 3 will most closely compete with the Chevy Bolt.
General Motors beat Tesla to the punch in the race to release an electric car that’s both mass-market and boasts a long range. The $US38,000 Bolt can drive 238 miles on a single charge and reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.
The Model 3 will surpass the Bolt at 310 miles, but it will cost more. At $US44,000, the longer-range Model 3 isn’t as affordable as the 220-mile base version, especially when factoring the additional costs of Tesla’s Autopilot software. (All of these price tags don’t take federal tax incentives into account.)
It’s too early to tell how the Model 3 will fare compared to the Chevy Bolt.
Close to 500,000 people are estimated to have reserved the Model 3, which is sold out until at least mid-2018.
The Chevy Bolt rolled off the production line in December and sales have grown steadily ever since. Chevy sold 1,642 Bolts in June.
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