The long-promised $35,000 Tesla Model 3 won't appear on the automaker's menu until sometime in 2019, but until then Tesla hopes that a midrange version will satisfy those who don't want to spend on one of the more expensive flavors.
Musk also pointed out that the new mid-range Model 3 costs roughly U.S. $35,000 after federal and state tax rebates in California.
The vehicle has an estimated range of 260 miles, a single motor and rear wheel drive. By keeping the same pack, but installing fewer cells, Musk commented that "we can get it done now instead of ~February", referring to when Tesla had last targeted production of the Standard Range model.
This new option is priced at $31,200, after factoring federal tax credits, state tax incentives, and estimated energy savings from using electricity.
Company CEO Elon Musk said the option "was causing too much confusion", and on Tuesday revealed that a required upgrade to a Tesla-designed computer chip for the system is still about six months away.
So far, Tesla has rolled out two versions of the Model 3: the long-range battery and the Performance version.
Tesla 3 model has been available for $49,000 with a long-range battery and no options for over a year. And to be precise, we see a total of $46,200 after the destination/doc fee (and those other taxes that add).
The current Tesla auto line (Roadster, Model S, Model X) ranges in price from $68,000 - $138,800 before tax incentives for electric cars.
The $45,000 Model 3 will also lack advanced Autopilot functionality, which would cost another $5,000, and will stick to rear wheel drive as opposed to the all-wheel-drive option for the mid-range.
The new version has a delivery period of six to 10 weeks, according to the website, which would customers eligible for the current $7,500 US tax credit if they take delivery by the end of the year.
But that price takes into account federal and state tax rebates. In response, the company promised an upcoming model with a standard battery pack that will remain faithful to the initial price promise.
It is not clear how numerous more than 400,000 reservations for the Model 3 are for the base models.