Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the Model 3 has cleared all regulatory requirements for production and that the first car will roll off the production line on 7th July. The Model 3 is the most affordable car from the brand yet. Musk, in the latest tweet, thanked all existing and prospective Tesla customers for resting faith in a new car company. This comes about three weeks before the first 30 production units of the Model 3 make their world debut. Earlier, Musk also announced that the first deliveries of Tesla's entry-level car will begin on 28th July. Tesla plans to produce a small batch of around 100 cars in August, increasing production to over 1,500 in September, and by the end of the year, the company may manufacture close to 20,000 cars per month. The Model 3 will only be available in rear-wheel-drive initially. Customers wanting an all-wheel-drive dual-motor version will have to wait a bit longer until the production of the Model 3 is in full swing and more streamlined.
The Model 3 is a compact saloon that sits underneath the Model S in Tesla’s lineup and will have an aggressive price tag of $35,000. Tesla plans for first deliveries of the vehicle to take place in Q4 2017. Musk will hold a Model 3 ‘handover party’ or a Model 3 launch event on Friday, 28th July. The first 30 customers will be handed keys to their brand new Model 3, which is expected to have a range of over 480 km on one full charge.
While the Model 3 is on a roll, Tesla Model S has hit a slight roadblock in certain tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Chevrolet Impala, Ford Motor Co's Taurus and Tesla's Model S were the three sedans that got "only an acceptable rating" in a test designed to simulate what happens when the front driver-side corner of a vehicle strikes a tree or another vehicle, the IIHS said.
According to the report, the seat belt in Tesla's Model S was not effective during the test and could lead to the driver's head striking the steering wheel hard through the airbag.
A Tesla spokesperson has said in response to the test results that the Model S has received the highest rating in IIHS' crash testing in every category except one. "IIHS and dozens of other private industry groups around the world have methods and motivations that suit their own subjective purposes," the spokesperson said.
Tesla said the US government conducts the most accurate and independent vehicle safety tests, which have found Model S and Model X to have the lowest probability of injury of any cars that it has ever tested. In order to get the top IIHS rating, automakers must have a frontal crash prevention system with automatic braking capabilities to prevent a rear-end collision. The vehicles must stop or slow down without driver intervention before hitting a target in tests at 12 or 25 miles per hour among other factors, IIHS said.
The IIHS is a research arm of the insurance industry, and its crash tests are increasingly influential in guiding vehicle safety design. Automakers strive for top ratings in IIHS tests as they do on federal crash tests.