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09 July 2017

Elon Musk just gave us our first real look at Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is finally here. 

After months of hype, a bonkers production plan, and multiple prototypes spotted zooming around California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the first production Model 3. 

The first Model 3 was slated to be finished to cap off the first week of the month, but the early July start is still about two weeks ahead of Tesla’s adjusted schedule. That’s great news for the hundreds of thousands of Tesla fans who have placed a reservation since March 2016, when pre-order totals reached over 134,000 in just over 24 hours.    

Who gets the first Model 3? We were wondering, too. Turns out, it’ll go to Musk himself. He told a Twitter follower that Ira Ehrenpreis, a clean tech investor at Technology Partners, was holding the first spot but turned it over to Musk as a birthday gift.

The Model 3 is Tesla’s biggest move yet in its attempt to bring all-electric vehicles to the masses. The entry level sedan is significantly less expensive (and lower within the brand’s hierarchy) than the luxury Model S and Model X vehicles the automaker has released so far, with a starting price at a much more accessible $35,000. Tesla is planning to double its charging network by the end of the year, in part to better serve the influx of Model 3 drivers the automaker hopes will soon fill the roads.  

If all goes according to plan, Tesla will hand over the first 30 Model 3s to customers at an event on July 28. Then, production will ramp up to 100 cars in August, over 1,500 in September, and 20,000 per month by December. By next year, Tesla hopes to pump out 500,000 cars (of all models) annually.

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