Today Tesla announced their first quarter 2015 results and during the conference call discussing the results, Elon Musk confirmed Tesla plans to unveil their third generation vehicle, the Model 3, in March 2016.
Tesla already revealed their plan on starting the production of the Model 3 in 2017, but today Elon Musk said that he sees “late 2017” as more realistic.
The car is expected to start at $35,000 and have at least 200 miles of range. The timing for the release of the car and its price are closely linked to Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, which is expected to reduce the price of lithium batteries by 30% due to economy of scale.
During the call, Musk said Tesla is currently doing “advance work” on the Model 3 and confirmed that they have “very early prototypes”. In the last SEC filings, Tesla confirmed that they have yet to complete the “Alpha Prototype” of the Model 3, but Tesla is known for making pre-alpha prototypes, which they did both with the Model S and the Model X.
We also learned during the call that Tesla is currently operating a “captive fleet of hundreds” of Model X release candidates. According to Musk, customers who placed a reservation should be able to confirmed their order and configure their car by July this year. Volume production of the Model X is expected in Q4 2015.