Elon Musk’s dream of having everyone zip around in affordable electric cars has been delayed.
The Tesla Model 3 was expected to be unveiled as early as March 2016 and get a late 2017 launch date, but now it looks like it won’t start production until 2018, according to documents obtained by electric-car news site Inside EVs.
The Model 3 will cost $35,000 before government subsidies, making it $40,000 less than the larger Model S, and putting it in line with the BMW’s 3 Series.
Tesla is no stranger to production delays. Its Model X crossover was supposed to debut in 2013, but that date was pushed back to late 2015. At the time of this writing, Tesla has yet to debut a production version of the Model X.
Considering the Model 3 will be Tesla’s first truly mainstream product — the Model S currently starts at $75,000 before government subsidies — the company would be wise not to rush a launch. The Model 3 will likely attract new customers, which makes it a bit of a make-or-break car for Tesla.
But competitors may be out to steal its thunder. Chevrolet is rumored to release its Bolt EV, which features a 200-mile range and price that undercuts the Model 3 at $30,000, in 2017. Meanwhile, Nissan will reportedly release a new Leaf that same year. Read more…