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Tesla Model 3 set to roll

Ramp up: Production of Tesla’s new entry model, the Model 3, will start slowly this month and build towards 40,000 a month next year.

Entry level Tesla 3 set to reach first US customers by the end of July

Tesla logo4 Jul 2017

TESLA’S first mass-selling model, the Model 3, will go into production in California this week, delivering on a promise by company founder and CEO Elon Musk to begin production of the small all-electric sedan by July.

Production volumes will be tiny at first, with the first 30 cars ready for delivery to customers at a special party thrown by Tesla on July 28.

However, Mr Musk promised via a Tweet that the numbers will be ramped up each month.

"Production grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1500," Musk said. "Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec."Tesla has a Model 3 production target of 10,000 cars a week or about 40,000 a month “at some point on 2018”. The overall production target for all Tesla models in 2018 is 500,000 – six times the 2016 production.

At last report, Tesla was holding 373,000 $1000 deposits from global customers for Tesla 3 which will sell in the United States for $US35,000 ($A45,585).

The first customer deliveries will be made in Tesla’s home base of California before being extended east across the US and then to export markets, including Australia. Pricing for Australia is yet to be announced.

According to the Tesla website, orders placed now in the US will be fulfilled in mid-2018 at the earliest.

Mr Musk also confirmed via tweet that the Model 3 had achieved regulatory approval from US authorities two weeks ahead of schedule.

Tesla has made it a priority to hit its Tesla 3 production targets after several delays in the past. The company has been hampered by battery supply problems, but a new Tesla battery plant in Nevada, dubbed Gigafactory, began mass production of lithium-ion cells early this year, easing the issues.

The five-seat Model 3 has a claimed driving range of 345km – short of the Model S large sedan’s 490km and Model X SUV’s 417km.

Acceleration is advertised as “under six seconds”. This is short of the manic Tesla Model S P100D’s industry leading 2.7 seconds in its famed “Ludicrous mode”, but not far off the recently updated Model X 75D’s 5.2 seconds.

The Model X 75D previously took 6.2 seconds to cover the 0-100km/h sprint.

The Tesla Model S 75 also gets a shot of Viagra in the latest technical tweak, with 0-100km/h acceleration slashed by more than a second, from 5.8 seconds to 4.6sec.

The all-wheel-drive Model S 75D’s standing start time also reduces, from 5.4 seconds to 4.4sec.

Meanwhile, Tesla has quietly axed the Model S’s one-time flagship, the 90D, from the Australian line-up after it was replaced at the head of the range by the more powerful P100D.

This continues the streamlining of the Tesla S line-up that started with the deletion of the entry level 60 and 60D in March.

The Tesla S line-up now starts at $124,275 driveaway for the 75, rising to $265,544 for the P100D.

The Tesla Model X starts at $150,189 driveaway for the 75D, and tops out at $275,598 driveaway for the P100D.

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