Tesla Has Finally Released Its Long-Promised Mid-Range Model 3. Sort Of

This new version is cheaper but it isn't the $35,000 Model 3 Tesla promised

"Our new mid-range battery is being introduced this week in the United States and Canada to better meet the varying range needs of the many customers eager to own Model 3, and our delivery estimate for customers who have ordered the Standard Battery is 4-6 months".

Tesla confirmed to Green Car Reports that the 220-mile Standard Range model-the one that was originally targeted for a $35,000 price-remains 4-6 months out.

Tesla 3 model has been available for $49,000 with a long-range battery and no options for over a year.

The release of a lower-priced Model 3 was a "logical next step", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note.

Customers taking delivery starting in January will only be able to claim $3,750 for the federal EV tax credit. That compares to the Model 3 Long Range which is priced at $54,000 and has a range of 310 miles.

Tesla originally touted the Model 3 as the auto it would mass-produce and price for mainstream consumers after first producing luxury vehicles in the Model S and Model X. That promise helped it lure in more than 400,000 pre-orders for the vehicle. "Our new Mid-Range Battery is being introduced this week in the USA and Canada to better meet the varying range needs of the many customers eager to own Model 3, and our delivery estimate for customers who have ordered the Standard Battery is 4-6 months".

The battery pack itself, according to a Tweet from Musk, is from the Long Range model. Within days, the company had more than a quarter million reservations. However, Tesla's ambitious $35,000 base version is nowhere to be seen due to production issues.

However, Tesla is promoting the auto as costing as little as $30,700 by factoring in "gas savings" and all possible federal and local electric vehicle tax incentives (but not the destination charge). That's a timeline that could just eke a number of cars through for delivery-especially perhaps in California and on the West Coast-in time for the full $7,500 tax credit.

The Model 3 was intended as a way to bring the luxury electric vehicle to the average consumer.

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