When Tesla launched the production version of the Model 3 a few weeks ago, it also updated estimated delivery timelines based on different criteria – mainly Model 3 options, date of reservation, and country of reservation.
While it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise, deliveries outside the US are now not expected for another year even for those who reserved on the first day. Most reservation holders outside the US are being told “late 2018” by Tesla and “2019” for those in right-hand drive markets.
The long wait opens the door for other electric vehicles to try to win over those reservation holders before Model 3 hits their market.
With its range and price, the Model 3 is not really competing against other electric vehicles right now. Instead, it is opening electric vehicles to a new bigger market and attempting to steal market shares from gas-powered cars.
The close to 500,000 people who placed a reservation for the Model 3 have something in common, they are ready to buy an electric car.
That’s doesn’t necessarily mean any electric car.
There are plenty of reasons why someone would especially want a Tesla Model 3, whether it’d be for the design, performance or access to Tesla’s Supercharger network for example.
Maybe autonomous driving is more important for them and since Tesla claims that each Model 3 is equipped with an Autopilot hardware suite that will enable fully self-driving capacity with future software updates, it’s the only currently available vehicle that promises that aside from Model S and Model X. There’s nothing else to consider.
There are also some EV enthusiasts who wouldn’t even consider another car than a Tesla because of other automakers’ lobbying efforts to slow down the advent of electric cars.
But for those who are only looking to stop buying gas and convert their commute to electric mileage, they might not want to wait another year.
What other options do they have?
As we recently reported, Tesla is really pushing to get them into a Model S. They recently updated the base version of the car to change the options and make it more powerful, but that’s still a significant premium over what Model 3 reservation holders expected to pay.
Someone could also choose the route of Tesla’s certified used cars, which is actually what I did. I ended up paying ~$50,000 USD, which is about the current price of a Model 3 since the base options are not yet available. I have a first day Model 3 reservation, but my estimate delivery date is “late 2018” in Canada and therefore, I plan on enjoying driving the car for at least another year.
There are also other EVs that Model 3 reservation holders outside the US might want to consider if they don’t want to wait another year.
In my opinion, the next-gen Nissan Leaf is likely going to be the most tempting new EV for those people.
Outside the US, the Chevy Bolt EV is still only offered in limited supply with allocations of only a few hundred by country, so it doesn’t really make the list.
But recent spy shots of the next-gen Leaf, which is set to be officially unveiled next month, indicate that the design refresh could appeal to a wider market who don’t want to suffer driving a “weirdmobile” just for the sake of it being an EV, like it is arguably the case for the current Leaf.
Furthermore, if recently reportedly ‘leaked’ specs turn out to be true, a base price of roughly $30,000 for the vehicle with a range of around 160 miles could prove popular in several markets.
The vehicle could offer similar specs as Renault’s Zoe, but in a different form factor closer to the Model 3 than Renault’s compact electric car.
For those willing to consider shorter range options, the latest VW e-Golf could be a possibility. It has a comparable starting price as the Leaf and it has an EPA-rated range of 125 miles (200 km).
The 2018 version could feature an increased range to make it more competitive with the next-generation Leaf, but the vehicle remains a compliance car that has difficulties competing due to the $10,000 premium on the gas-powered version of the very same car.
Its availability is also not great. For example, deliveries of the 2017 model only recently started in low volume in Canada.
BMW’s only all-electric vehicle could be an option for some, but with a higher starting price than the Model 3 for a shorter range and fewer options, it’s likely going to be hard to swallow for reservation holders.
Unless the German automaker has a surprise for the 2018 version, we are likely going to have to wait for BMW’s next generation of electric vehicles expected in 2019 to start competing with Tesla’s Model 3.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
At ~$30,000 before incentives and a range of ~125 miles (200 km), the vehicle could prove a viable cheaper option.
Again though, it’s still a low volume vehicle and Hyundai reportedly can’t keep up with the demand. It makes the availability difficult in some markets, but the Korean automaker is reportedly looking to increase production by 50%.
What other options could there be? Let us know in the comment section below if you are a Model 3 reservation holder who started considering other options or even if you are not a reservation holder, let us know if you think of other interesting alternatives to waiting for Model 3.