At a launch event organised at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, 30 lucky Tesla employees got to collect the first Model 3 vehicles. That's because many Model 3 buyers undoubtedly expect to get the kind of luxury and performance of the more expensive Model S. Tesla has been clear that this won't be the case, but the luxury brand that the company has already established could pose a problem. Musk starred in a ceremony at the plant delivering the first batch to their owners. It's much easier to misplace auto keys, in fact, since they're relatively occasional use devices. "Model 3, it serves its objective for getting people involved with electric vehicles who might not otherwise be able to", said Tesla owner Dee Duncan.
The cost of the basic version 3 Model, charging the battery, which are 345 kilometers, will be $35 thousand.
Long Range models will offer more, well, range. At the Tesla dealership in Burbank on Friday night, the charging stations were full and even non-Tesla owners stopped by, curious to see if the new model had arrived.
All the sensors needed for Tesla's Autopilot system, which can steer a vehicle on freeways and change lanes, will be included in each Model 3, although activating the system comes at a one-time cost of $5,000.
Musk claims the company will be in "hell" at the start of production to meet the car's not insignificant global demand.
If Model 3 production can match Musk's goals, its price and technical capabilities could enable it to revolutionize modern transportation across the globe.
Like its predecessors, the Model 3 is fully electric and on-board computers can handle some driving tasks.
PRICE: The starting price of the Model 3 is $35,000. But Musk freely admitted that any number of unforeseen issues could make the coming months a headache.
"I have high confidence that we'll get to the end of the 'S Curve, ' but it is impossible to predict the shape of it", Musk said.
"Frankly, we're going to be in production hell", he told a crowd of Tesla employees.
His Boring Company is part of a vision for near-supersonic rail travel through low-pressure tubes that he laid out in a Hyperloop white paper he made open to other entrepreneurs.
There is a four-year 50,000 mile limited warranty for the vehicle.
Tesla's CEO nonetheless is standing by Model 3 production plans, including making 20,000 a month in December.
Rebates in a handful of states could lower the price of a Model 3 for eligible customers.
So far, Musk's strategy has paid off. That should be good, not just for Tesla, but General Motors, Nissan and other automakers who sell electric cars. The 500,000 vehicles Tesla vows to produce next year are almost six times its 2016 production.
The company aims to produce 5,000 units of the Model 3 a week in 2017, and 10,000 a week by 2018.
Gene Munster, an analyst with research firm Loup Ventures, said Tesla could transform the industry.