Elon Musk, the electric car evangelist and the owner of Tesla Motors, recently teased the public with the new car model which is expected to see the light of day sometimes in 2016 – the Model 3. We tried to find out as much as possible about it and here is what we think should be its main selling points.
Fans of Tesla will notice one peculiarity about the name of the announced car. The number three would suggest that the model comes third in line, but it is actually the fourth model to come from the famous manufacturer, after Models S and X which are already available, and the Model D which is to be unveiled on October 9. So what’s the story? It’s actually funnier than you might imagine.
According to the quote by Musk himself (as seen in this Verge article), the plan was to have Model E, which would complete Musk’s vision of having Models S, E and X form the word, you guessed it, “sex”. But Ford apparently threatened to sue Tesla over the rights to Model E (as a name) and Musk was forced to think of a workaround. So he came up with Model 3 (III) whose three bars will represent, again, the letter E.
However, there is probably more to this name than just this hilarious anecdote. Interestingly enough, for example, Auto Express reports that the Model 3 will be a direct competitor to BMW 3 Series. Is this only a coincidence? Most experts will probably agree that it is not.
The Model 3 is expected to be able to run for over 200 miles before it needs to be recharged, which puts it in the same category with the Model S. In case this is not enough, the future owners of this vehicle will be able to use services of Tesla’s Supercharger network for free. The network is still in the development phase, but by the time the Model 3 sees the light of the day, it will cover the most important roads in developed countries like the United Kingdom.
Given that electric is probably the only future of tyre vehicles, it is interesting to think about the implications which such a rapid development of Tesla’s model portfolio will have on the development of electric car industry in general. For the past couple of years electric cars have been all the rage, but Tesla Motors have been the only serious name in this industry niche. None of the famous, old-school car manufacturers managed to catch up with them so far, even though Elon Musk’s intention has clearly been to invite competition to join the race (as you will remember, Tesla Motors recently made all their electric vehicle technology patents available for everyone).
In any case, the pace with which electric car industry becomes mainstream will please anyone who thinks we need electric cars on our roads as soon as possible. Model 3 will offer the performance hopefully combined with affordability which will further boost this thriving industry niche.
Photo by Norio Nakayama.