Tesla announces cheaper Model 3, but it's still not $35,000

Tesla Model 3

The brake discs and pads are designed to last for the life of the car

When the more affordable Tesla sedan launched past year, pricing started at $49,000 for 310 miles of range, which was well above the $35,000 long-range EV the company promised. One that's missing-from all new Tesla orders, not just the Model 3-is the controversial "full self-driving" option.

The release of a lower-priced Model 3 was a "logical next step", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note. Announced by Elon Musk via Twitter, the new mid-range sedan is available for order now in black, midnight silver metallic, deep blue metallic, pearl white, and red - though anything but the black will cost you an added premium of $1,500 to $2,500.

The Mid Range comes with a single motor and rear-wheel drive whereas the Long Range and even pricier Model 3 Performance now come with dual motors and all-wheel drive exclusively.

Tesla's Model 3 was originally supposed to be the company's mass-market offering, with prices starting at $35,000 before incentives.

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Consumers can begin ordering the new vehicle online and it will be available for delivery in about six to 10 weeks, according to Tesla.

The midrange Model 3 should be welcome news for those who can't afford to shell out upward of $60,000 for an electric vehicle.

Hitting that price target is important, because the federal tax incentives - worth up to $US7,500 per auto - are due to start dwindling in January.

With the arrival of the Model 3 Mid Range model, Tesla will no longer sell the rear-wheel drive Long Range version.

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Tesla shares rose 1.3% to $267.43 in German trading compared to the previous day's United States close as of 10:45 a.m.in Frankfurt. Must said in May that shipping the cheapest, "standard" Model 3 before the pricier models would have caused Tesla to "lose money and die".

The move could ratchet up the pressure on Tesla's already-straining California factory and its nationwide system built to deliver cars to customers, which Musk described last month as mired in "delivery logistics hell".

"True cost of ownership is closer to $31k after gas savings", Musk claimed.

To get the Mid Range into production quicker than previously anticipated, Tesla uses the same battery as the Long Range but packs it with fewer cells.

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