2018 Tesla Model 3Enlarge Photo
Much of the electric-car world is waiting to see how quickly production of the Tesla Model 3 will ramp up over the balance of this year.
Will it reach the remarkable level of 5,000 cars per week by December 31 that CEO Elon Musk has set as a goal?
Analysts and industry commentators are skeptical, owners and advocates are hopeful, and now at least 30 Model 3s are in owners' hands. Stay tuned.
With at least some Model 3s coming out of the assembly plant in Fremont, California, a longer-term question rises to the fore.
Exactly which cars is the Model 3 competing with?
A week ago, we wrote that it might compete as much with the BMW 3-Series model lineup as with compact electric hatchbacks like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and next-generation Nissan Leaf.
What car do you think is the closest Tesla Model 3 competitor?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) August 15, 2017
That article generated a huge number of reader comments—460 and counting—so we decided to poll our Twitter followers on the same question.
We asked which cars the Model 3 competes with, and added the 2019 Audi e-tron to the list of BMW 3-Series, Chevy Bolt EV, and Nissan Leaf.
Respondents were evenly split, at 35 percent each for BMW's core sport sedan and Chevy's 238-mile electric hatchback.
The other two choices received far fewer votes.
2017 BMW 3-SeriesEnlarge Photo
The next-generation Nissan Leaf, despite one model having an expected range of 200 miles or more, received just 17 percent of the votes.
That may be in part because while spy photos and a handful of undisguised images have now been published, little is known about the second-generation Leaf, which will make its global debut on September 5.
The Audi e-tron that is now being road-tested and will go into production in the second half of 2018 got even fewer votes: just 13 percent of respondents picked it.
That may make sense, since while the Model 3 starts at a price of $35,000, the Audi e-tron will likely cost considerably more than that.