UK Tesla Model 3 production won’t begin until 2019 as electric saloon’s specification revealed

Deliveries of electric car maker’s more affordable saloon begin in USA, but right-hand-drive models are some way off

UK Tesla Model 3 production won’t begin until 2019 as electric saloon’s specification revealed

The first deliveries of Tesla’s more affordable electric saloon began on Friday, but UK advance orders won’t be fulfilled until 2019 at the earliest.

The electric car company’s much-anticipated “more affordable” Model 3 saloon has been pitched as the car that brings EV technology to the general public thanks to a $35,000 (£26,000) price tag.

(Tesla)
(Tesla)

However, following Friday’s launch event, it became clear that while it is possible to buy a Model 3 at that price, very few cars will ever hit the road in base spec.

In a likely nod to the Ford Model T, introduced in 1908 and widely regarded as the first affordable car, the only standard colour is black – silver, blue, white and red all cost $1,000 (£760) extra.

The standard car has a 220-mile battery, though a long-range version with a range of 310 miles is available starting at $44,000 (£33,500). The latter also offers faster acceleration and shorter recharging times.

Meanwhile, the premium upgrade package, which includes heated seating, upgraded interior materials and a premium audio system, costs $5,000 (£3,800).

(Tesla)
(Tesla)

In a timeline posted on the Tesla website, it is revealed that production – which boss Elon Musk has described as “Hell” – will ramp up in November until 5,000 cars are being built every week in December.

To simplify the production process, all early models will be long-range, rear-wheel-drive variants, with all-wheel-drive production beginning in spring. International left-hand-drive deliveries will begin later in 2018, while right-hand-drive models won’t start production until 2019.

(Tesla)
(Tesla)

UK pricing hasn’t yet been revealed, but import costs and converting to right-hand drive mean that it will likely be more expensive than it is in America. Expect base cars to start above £30,000.

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