You’re here has been the market leader in electric vehicles (EV) almost since its inception. With well-known CEO Elon Musk at the helm, the company has made a name for itself by focusing exclusively on electrified vehicles that are rich in innovation and technological advancements.
With record productions like the Model S Plaid and numerous industry accolades, it’s clear the company has made its mark in more ways than one.
Although not always the fastest to produce, Tesla products have revolutionized the electric vehicle industry by providing new models for what electric vehicles have the potential to be and one of the models that has had the biggest impact on the electric vehicle market is the Model 3.
The Model 3 departed significantly from electric vehicles that came before it, introducing design changes and technologies never before incorporated into an electric vehicle. The highly anticipated Model 3 was introduced in March 2016 and immediately attracted a huge following that continues to grow.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Tesla Model 3 changed the EV game!
The History and Market Introduction of the Tesla Model 3
Tesla’s Model 3 was hinted at in September 2015 and revealed in March 2016. The sedan helped Tesla make history by being the first consumer vehicle delivered by the company. In true “Musk” style, the CEO delivered the first thirty production models to customers at a party on a Friday night to kick off production.
The car was incredibly popular even before production. Once revealed, Tesla quickly racked up reservations and took 325,000 within a week of the reveal. By August 2017, that number had risen to 455,000 bookings. These numbers prompted Tesla to advance its construction plans two years ahead of schedule to speed up production.
Marketed as a more affordable alternative to previous models offered by Tesla, the Model 3 made electric vehicles more accessible to the middle class and has since 2020 become the best-selling electric car in world history. In June 2021, the car also became the first electric car to surpass one million units sold worldwide, demonstrating its popularity.
Interestingly, the Model 3 was originally going to be called the Model “E” as a way for Musk to achieve his goal of having the first three models to be produced by Tesla. SEX (which has now expanded through additional models to become S3XYCARS with the addition of the Model Y, Cybertruck, ATV, Roadster and Semi). However, Ford’s trademark on the “Model E” name prevented the original naming plans. Even the backup plan (three horizontal bars) was prevented, this time due to a trademark on the three-stripe logo owned by Adidas.
The Model 3 has revolutionized the world of transportation with its innovation, technology and unique features since its launch. The Model 3’s dashboard was much more minimalist than other offerings in the EV world (and Tesla’s too). The Model 3 did away with the steering wheel LCD display that was present in the Model S and X in favor of a large centralized touchscreen.
The design of the car was also a new concept, the all glass roof that runs from the windshield to the trunk gave the car a feeling of openness and the illusion of more space and the overall design was familiar but still futuristic.
Without breaking $40,000, the Model 3 proved that electric vehicles could be affordable and desirable. At launch, the car cost just $35,000 for the base model and could go up to 250 miles on a charge. For a few thousand dollars more, the batter could also be upgraded to over 300 miles of range, and an upfront $7,500 federal tax credit made the overall price even lower, putting the EV in a whole new slice and making ownership possible for many who could not consider electric vehicles before. This opened the door for many more affordable electric vehicles that refused to sacrifice quality to enter the market later.
Tesla Model 3: current specifications and future plans
Although Tesla recently raised the price of the Model 3 significantly from previous years, it’s still quite affordable compared to some other EVs and the 2022 MSRP starts at just $46,990. For this, the buyer takes advantage of Tesla’s experience with an expanded lineup, more technology and design updates.
The 2022 specs show the Tesla Model 3 at 358 miles per charge on the mid-level (long-range) model thanks to a new type of battery based on lithium-ion-phosphate rather than the nickel-cobalt-aluminum traditionally used. The entry-level model got a slight increase in range, up to 272 miles per charge. Additionally, a performance trim is now available that boosts the Model 3’s power and speed for those looking for a more exciting and responsive ride (although this will also bump the price up to $64,440).
One thing the most recent iteration of the Model 3 has retained from the original design is the simplistic interior. It’s still incredibly simple inside with a single touchscreen on the center dash. The car underwent interior tweaks to allow for ample cargo space (including folding rear seats and a flat floor) and plenty of bins throughout the cabin.
Although sales have dipped a bit since its introduction, the influence of the Model 3 is still noticeable in many of the affordable alternatives currently on offer and the Model 3 sales figures are nothing to sneeze at with 121,610 sold in 2021 and 182,666 sold in 2022.
Big plans for the company’s future could also see those numbers rise with renewed interest. In Tesla’s reports and on their Twitter feed, they announced a plan to sell 20 million electric vehicles per year by 2030 and many of the planned features and changes were recently leaked via a Europe-based test program. Many of these included changes to the Model 3 and will hopefully continue to keep the car as relevant in years to come as it has been historically.