As he had promised he would late one evening last week, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has tweeted out some updates on the upcoming Model 3.
He expects first production Model 3 electric car, with serial number 001 ("SN1"), to be completed this Friday, July 7.
The first 30 customers to buy Model 3s should receive them, he followed up, at a "handover party" on July 28.
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Moreover, Musk offered some estimates for monthly Model 3 production, which he said would grow "exponentially" through the rest of the year.
Assuming 30 or so cars are assembled in July, he suggested that 100 would come off the line in August, and fully 1,500 during September.
By December, he concluded, it "looks like" Tesla could be producing as many as 20,000 Model 3s a month.
Model 3 passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule. Expecting to complete SN1 on Friday— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2017
The details are contained not only in the tweet above, but in two responses to it he quickly posted. (Click on the timestamp to see the entire thread.)
That would be remarkable growth within six months, comparable to the launch of any high-volume model by a global automaker.
The usual tactic for volume models by global makers, however, involves dozens to hundreds of pre-production and test models that aren't sold to the public; it's not known how many pre-production Tesla Model 3s have been built.
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Such a production rate would be a stunning accomplishment from a company that built slightly fewer than 84,000 vehicles during all of 2016, and delivered 76,230.
A configurator, allowing Model 3 depositors to configure their cars, is not yet online.
Musk promised during Tesla's annual shareholder meeting, held on June 6, that the configuration tool would go live at the end of July, when the handover event is held.
Tesla Model 3 design prototype - reveal event - March 2016
To simplify production, Tesla confirmed that fewer than 100 different combinations of features and options will be offered on the Model 3—against roughly 1,500 for the company's core Model S.
The choices will be far simpler yet at launch, however.
Musk suggested at the annual meeting that early Model 3 buyers will receive rear-wheel-drive vehicles for which choices will be limited to the color and the wheel size and design.
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When it goes live, Musk has said, the configurator will show all future Model 3 options, with a date when they are expected to enter production.
All-wheel drive, for example (which will cost more but likely increase the range of the car against a RWD-only version with the same battery size), should become available around the turn of the year.
The Tesla Model 3 is expected to carry a base price of $35,000 before incentives, and offer an EPA-rated range of 215 miles or more.
It will be the second sub-$40,000 electric car on the market with that range; the Chevrolet Bolt EV hatchback went on sale in California last December with a rated range of 238 miles.