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Tesla’s $35,000 Electric Car Is Finally Here

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Tesla Model 3 cars arriving at a port in Shanghai. Zhao Yun / VCG via Getty Images

Three years after it was first announced, Tesla's Model 3 is now available for $35,000 in the United States, The Verge reported Thursday.

"We are incredibly excited to announce that the standard Model 3, with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds is now available at $35,000!" the company announced in a blog post. "Although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version, which has the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the U.S. Government."


This is now the cheapest electric vehicle on offer from the company, bringing the Model 3 price-point down from the $42,900 it went for after a price reduction this February.

"From the beginning, this has been the goal," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on a press call reported by The Verge. "It's an incredible car."

The car is available to order now online in the U.S. and will be available in Europe and China in three to six months.

In addition to the newly-discounted Model 3, Tesla also announced other variations on the car at newly low prices, including a Model 3 Standard Range Plus for $37,000 that gets 240 miles on the charge and a Mid Range for $40,000 that gets 264 miles per charge.

The move squares with the goal of the company as announced by Musk in 2017, according to USA Today.

"The whole point of Tesla was to build a great affordable electric car," Musk said when the first Model 3s were released.

The lower prices come at a cost though: Tesla is moving to all online sales. This is what allowed the company to reduce all vehicle prices by an average of six percent. The company will shut down most of its retail stores, keeping a few open in particularly busy locations as showcases and information hubs. This means Tesla will have to lay off staff, Musk admitted on the press call reported by The Verge.

"There's no other way for us to achieve the savings required to provide this car and be financially sustainable," he said. "I wish there was some other way, but unfortunately, it will entail reduction in force on the retail side. There's no way around it."

In order to bypass the need for a test drive, the company touted a generous return policy.

"You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free. With the highest consumer satisfaction score of any car on the road, we are confident you will want to keep your Tesla," the announcement said.

Musk hinted at the announcement with a cryptic series of three tweets on Wednesday.

"Thursday 2pm." "California." "Some Tesla news." he wrote.

Musk has gotten in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before for his tweets, as USA Today explained:

On Monday, the SEC filed a claim against Musk for not complying with an agreement reached with the Wall Street regulatory agency in late September. The SEC accused Musk of securities fraud after the Tesla chairman tweeted that "Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019."

It is not known if Tesla approved Musk's tweets Wednesday, but they caused its stock to jump five percent.

Transportation is responsible for the largest share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the most up-to-date data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of this is due to the burning of fossil fuels for vehicles including cars.


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