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10 July 2017

Elon Musk Taking First Tesla Model 3 As Birthday Present

The very first Tesla Model 3 has rolled off the production line – and Elon Musk will be taking it home as a birthday present.

Over the weekend, the Tesla chief executive announced on Twitter that production of the very first $35,000, 215-miles per charge Model 3 had been completed and passed through final checkout. The company did hit its mark of starting production on Friday.

Two photos of the first Model 3 were released on Saturday – one in color and the other in black and white – with the company’s Fremont, Calif., factory signage in the background.

The Fremont plant is scheduled to be producing about 20,000 Model 3s per month starting in December.

Musk tweeted last week that the first 30 units would be delivered to Tesla owners on July 28.

It may only be 29, with Musk taking the first one as a birthday present for turning 46.

The Tesla CEO said that the rule was whoever makes the first deposit gets the first electric car off the production line. That had worked for him on the Tesla Roadster and Model X, but not on the Model S or the Model 3.

Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis had been the first to slap down a payment on the Model 3, but had turned over his rights to the first production model to Musk as a birthday gift. Musk is taking him up on the offer.

The initial production will only offer two options to buyers – body color and wheels. Details on the option package will come out later. The starting price has been given, but pricing on trim packages will have to wait.

It will go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.

Semi-autonomous hardware will be standard on the first wave of Model 3s, but it’s based on a pay-to-use format. Model 3 owners can pay to have the system activated when ordering the car; or they can have it activated at a later time.

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