Just yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Model 3 electric vehicles will be making their way to India this summer. And now, we know the explanation for the said claim which has spread like wildfire among automobile enthusiasts. Reuters reports that the automaker is currently retooling its Fermont (California) factory to set up a test assembly for its affordable Model 3 variant, starting February 20th.
Citing anonymous source aware of the developments, the report says that Tesla has currently halted production of its Model X and Model S sedans. This step has been taken to install necessary equipment for Model 3 production in the said facilities. Evidence with regards to same has been spotted on Buildzoom by Electrek. It shows that the company has recently acquired construction permits for the expansion of the paint shop and some other removal equipment.
The expansion plans for the test assembly have been confirmed by a Tesla spokesperson. He further added that the brief pause in production of existing models won’t have a material impact on their first-quarter figures. Neither will this affect the production or delivery figures as the company has already added production days for the delay. Talking about the same, the spokesperson adds,
This will allow Tesla to begin Model 3 production later this year as planned and enable us to start the ramp towards 500,000 vehicles annually in 2018.
Further, initially produced Model 3 electric vehicles will only be pre-production models that’ll be used for testing and supplier feedback. The report further adds that the date for the beginning of the production cycle will coincide with their fourth quarter earnings call. Currently, we have no update on when Tesla plans to first show the production vehicle to the public.
Musk had already finalised the design of the Model 3 back in June. But, those have since undergone continued tweaks and might lead to stunted production goals due to supplier setbacks. Tesla plans to start full-fledged production of its Model 3 variant by July’17, as stated during the launch event.
It would be wonderful if Tesla starts churning out its cheapest production vehicle by their July target date, but we’re mostly apprehensive of the same. The other variants — Model X and Model S — both faced delays in production due to initial quality-related issues. The company has already received more than 400,000 reservations, including those from India, Singapore, New Zealand and other global locations. Users have deposited $1,000 to pre-order the Tesla Model 3 variant.
For those unaware about the specifics of the cheapest Tesla car shown off earlier in 2016, here’s a recap to jog your memory. Tesla Model 3 is the affordable and international model to their brethren. The said electric vehicle is expected to go from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds and has an estimated range of at least 215 miles.
It will retail at $35,000 (exclusive of import duty for foreign lands) for the basic model, which is expected to include a 70 kWh battery pack. In a tweet, Musk has also confirmed that the Model 3 won’t include a 100 kWh battery pack due to wheelbase restrictions. The company is also planning to produce Model 3 components and batteries at the massive Gigafactory located just outside Nevada.