Tesla Model 3 Overview Updated November 9, 2021

Tesla Model 3 guide: the cheapest Tesla to date

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December 2014 - January 2022

Tesla Model 3

As the most affordable EV in the Tesla’s current lineup, the Model 3 has become the best-selling electric vehicle in the world to date, and has helped pushed its creator over the top as the name to beat to the EV market. Below is a guide outlining everything you need to know about the Tesla Model 3 including its history, how much it costs to buy, and even what it’ll (roughly) cost to charge.

The Model 3 – the most affordable Tesla

Even during the early success of Tesla’s Model S and Model X, CEO Elon Musk was publicly focused on the automaker’s goal of delivering an EV for $35,000 that more consumers could afford to drive.

That goal came to fruition in 2016, when Tesla officially announced its new Model 3 sedan, which debuted on the automaker’s third-generation platform now present on both the Model 3 and Model Y.

Some of the early speculation surrounding the Model 3 is quite funny to look back on. There’s a step into the time portal before the world set its eyes on Tesla’s cheapest model:

After receiving over 130,000 reservations in the first 24 hours,Tesla’s most affordable model began delivering to consumers in July 2017.

Since then, it has zoomed past the rest of the market in terms of sales, alongside a refresh in 2021.You can learn more about the 2021 refresh from the Electrek team here:

The Model 3 currently sits as the best-selling BEV on the planet, and continues its reign as Tesla’s top seller year after year.

So what does the current Tesla Model 3 offer, and at what cost? Everything you need to know to get up to speed has been compiled for you below.

Specs

The Model 3 currently comes in three separate trims: a single-motor RWD powertrain in the Standard Range Plus, and two dual motor, AWD trims in the Long Range and Performance versions.

These three variations increase in price respectively and can vary based on a number of add-ons, but more on that later. To begin, let’s focus on what each of these trims can get you in terms of performance and range.

The cheapest and most bare bones of Teslas is the Standard Range Plus Model 3 sedan. This single-motor, RWD trim comes with a 50 kWh battery and offers an estimated 263 miles of range, and a top speed of 140 mph. It can also travel 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds.

The dual motor AWD Long Range Model 3 offers an estimated range of 353 miles, a top speed of 145 mph, and a 0-60 travel time of 4.2 seconds. This trim along with the Performance version comes with a larger 82 kWh battery.

Speaking of which, the dual motor Performance trim loses some mileage compared to the Long Range Model 3, offering an estimated range of 315 miles. However, where it lacks in range, it makes up for in speed, topping out at 162 mph and traveling 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds (without rollout subtracted).

No matter what trim you choose, the Model 3 comes with seating for up to five, and offers 23 cubic feet of cargo space.

Top speed of the Tesla Model 3

The Model 3 is by no means the fastest of Tesla’s current fleet (although it remains the cheapest option). That being said, this EV still offers sufficient speed for an electric sedan. Here are the top speeds for all three current trims of the Model 3:

  • Standard Range Plus – 140 mph
  • Long Range – 145 mph
  • Performance – 162 mph

How much does a Tesla Model 3 weigh?

This may seem like an odd question, but it’s one we come across a lot. The Standard Range Plus Model 3 weighs 3,582 lbs., while both the Long Range and Performance trims come in at 4,065 lbs.

Tesla Model 3

How much does a Tesla Model 3 cost?

The next question to arise is almost always, How much does this Tesla cost?

Prices vary depending on the trim, cosmetic customizations, and a number of add-ons. To give you the full perspective of what you might pay for a Tesla, we’re going to give you both the high and low end of each variation.

Note: All prices are accurate at the time of this posting and do no include any destination fees, taxes, or federal tax rebates. Let’s begin with the most affordable Model 3, the Standard Range Plus.

This trim starts at a purchase price of $44,990 with zero upgrades, and can go as high as $59,490. The latter price includes every top feature available such as red paint, white interior, 19-inch sport wheels, and full self- driving capabilities.

If you’re looking to drive the cheapest version of the cheapest Tesla, you may have to wait a bit. Tesla recently announced a six month delay on the Standard Range Model 3, now arriving in January of 2022.

The Long Range Model 3 starts at $50,990 and can reach a top end price of $65,490 with all the aforementioned add-ons.

Lastly, the Performance version of the Model 3 starts at $58,990 and reach a top end price of $71,990 including 20″ Überturbine wheels.

Prices vary in the Chinese market, but Tesla has recently lowered the Model 3 price in Asia. Conversely, prices in the US continue to rise alongside the Model Y for the 2022 model year.

Earlier this year, Electrek‘s own Michelle Lewis purchased her very first Tesla, and has documented the entire purchasing process, updating us every couple months following her Model 3 delivery.

Why have Model 3 prices gone up?

Remember that goal mentioned above about delivering a $35,000 EV to the masses? Well, Tesla actually pulled it off, but only for a fleeting moment, likely to give Tesla the credit to say it had in fact hit the price point originally promised by Elon Musk.

In November 2020, Tesla quietly removed this $35,000 option to make room for its 2021 refresh. Prices have continued to fluctuate since then, but have trended upward.

With the 2022 model year versions now for sale, the cheapest Tesla you can buy is the Model 3 for $44,990 before taxes, fees, or rebates. Quite a ways off from the original $35k target.

Fear not, Tesla is still working on a $25k model to debut in the next couple years.

Refreshed interior on the Model 3 / Source: Tesla

How long does it take to charge a Model 3?

Another common question among new or prospective Tesla owners is How long does it take to charge a Tesla? Much like the Model 3 pricing, a number of factors contribute to how quickly you can get your Tesla recharged and back on the road.

First, it’s important to have a clear understanding of EV charging standards and how they vary. From here, you’ll be able to better understand the three levels of charging, and what sort of times you can expect to encounter with your Tesla.

Again, charge times may vary based on these factors, but here’s a broad breakdown of Tesla charge speeds.

  • Level 1 AC (110-120V outlet at home): 20-40 hours
  • AC Level 2 (220-240V – Third party chargers/Tesla chargers/Tesla home charger): 8-12 hours
  • Level 3 DC fast charger (480+ volts – Third party chargers/Tesla Supercharger): 15-25 minutes

When you’re in a pinch or on a road trip, the Tesla Supercharger network is by all means the best choice. However, due to their massive direct current (DC), Superchargers are not recommended for daily charging.

Tesla recommends Level 2 charging at home if possible.

For more information on Tesla’s Supercharger network, check out our detailed guide.

What is the max Supercharging power available on the Model 3?

Tesla’s Superchargers can draw some massive power directly from the grid to help charge your Tesla quickly.

With that said, you’ll want to be aware of what the maximum level of power your Model 3 can handle while charging.

For example, the Standard Range Plus Model 3 has a maximum power of 170 kW, while the other two dual motor trims can handle a max power of 250 kW.

This might call for an over-the-air update to the Model 3 if possible, because Elon Musk has mentioned future Superchargers capable of delivering 300 kW of power.

How much does it cost to charge a Model 3?

Another common question that is not so easily answered is, How much does it cost to charge a Tesla? Again, there are a number of factors that contribute to this approximate number. Everything from what state you live in, to the level of charging, all the way to what time of day it is.

By gathering average residential energy costs in the US from the Energy Information Administration, we are able to share an estimated cost to charge at home on either Level 1 or Level 2 AC charging.

Cost to charge at home

The 50 kWh battery on the Standard Range Plus Model 3 will cost approximately $8.24 to charge from 0 to 100%.

The 82 kWh battery in the other two trims will cost $13.51 on average in the US, while accounting for an 85% charging efficiency (AC charging loses energy in the form of heat by converting it to DC for the EV battery).

In terms of mileage, the Long Range Model 3 equates to about $0.038 per mile and $3.83 for 100 miles of range. The Performance trim costs about $0.043 per mile or $4.39 per 100 miles.

Lastly, the Standard Range Plus Model 3 will cost approximately $0.031 per mile and only $3.13 for 100 miles of range.

Cost to charge on a Supercharger

Since Superchargers pull DC power directly from the grid, they are much more efficient and can lead to lower charging costs alongside much faster speeds.

The 50 kWh battery on the Standard Range Plus Model 3 costs roughly $5.79 to fully charge, while the 82 kWh battery on either of the other two trims totals around $9.49 each.

In terms of mileage, the Standard Range Plus Model 3 costs about $0.022 per mile and $2.20 for 100 miles of range.

The Performance trim costs around $0.030 per mile or $3.01 per 100 miles.

Finally, the Long Range Model 3 is approximately $0.027 per mile on a DCFC, equaling around $2.69 per 100 miles.

Model 3 FAQ

What’s the cheapest Tesla you can buy?

Easy. That would be the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, starting at $44,990 before taxes, fees, or tax rebates.

Can you lease a Tesla Model 3?

Definitely. Check out our Tesla lease guide for the latest terms and prices:
How much is a Tesla lease? Everything you need to know

What’s the closest Tesla to the Model 3?

The Model 3 resembles the Model S because they are both sedans, but it shares a majority of the same DNA with the Model Y, as both sit upon the same platform.

Does the Model 3 come with free unlimited supercharging?

If you’re buying a brand new Model 3, you do not qualify for free unlimited supercharging from Tesla.
Some Performance versions of the Model 3 did come with free unlimited Supercharging for the life of the EV in 2018-2019. With that said, that deal only applied to the original owner of the EV and is non-transferrable.
You can check for yourself here.

Read more:

Tesla Model 3 Stories January 17

Elon Musk announced that Tesla is starting to roll out a new over-the-air software update that includes a ‘fix’ to a heat pump issue that has been plaguing Tesla vehicles in cold-weather regions.

However, some are worried that it might need more than a software fix, as Tesla service centers have indicated to owners that it might be more of a hardware problem.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories January 12

Tesla owners are again losing heat in extremely cold weather as some heat pumps are failing badly.

The problem was thought to be fixed last year, but it is resurging in a big way this year.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories January 6

Tesla had record sales in the United Kingdom in 2021, and the new car registration data show that it helped the country reach a new electric market share milestone: over 10% of the auto market for the first time.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 30, 2021

Tesla (TSLA) has issued two recalls on almost half a million Model 3 and Model S vehicles.

The fixes are small, but it will still put a strain on its service team.

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New York City is closing out the year with a big electrification move as it adds 184 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs to its fleet, and it approves the option to buy 250 Tesla Model 3 electric sedans.

Most of the vehicles are going to the NYPD and other emergency service departments.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 28, 2021

Tesla has introduced the new AMD Ryzen chip and 12v Li-ion battery in 2022 Model 3 Model Y vehicles.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 20, 2021

Tesla has been adding a strange new warning about putting battery packs as old as 2017 in brand new 2021 Model 3 vehicles for sale.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 14, 2021

G7, a Paris-based taxi company that operates one of the largest Tesla taxi fleets in the world, announced that it suspended all its Model 3 taxis after a severe fatal crash that occurred last weekend.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 9, 2021

The city of New York is currently proposing a contract to buy a fleet of Model 3 vehicles from Tesla.

It would create a fleet of hundreds of electric cars for the city.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 8, 2021

A bunch of new features and changes coming to the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y have leaked through a test program in Europe.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 7, 2021

Tesla has released findings from its test program of a Model 3 that the automaker custom-built as a police patrol car in the UK.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 30, 2021

I recently drove from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tallahassee, Florida, and back in my Tesla Model 3. It’s a five-hour drive each way, and it was my first real road trip longer in my EV. Here are three things I learned.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 24, 2021

Tesla has increased Model 3 and Model Y prices in several more international markets, including some critical ones like China and Canada.

Pressure from supply chain problems is assumed to be responsible.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 12, 2021

A number of new Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles have been delivered in the last few days with missing USB ports, often without any warning before the owners get their new cars home and notice that the car’s phone charger isn’t working.

The automaker blames the missing parts on the global chip shortage.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 4, 2021

Today, Tesla has updated its pricing for Model 3 and Model Y vehicles to increase prices across the board once more.

The automaker’s cheapest vehicle has now increased in price by over 20% this year alone.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 1, 2021

Tesla has updated Model 3 and Model Y line with the 2022 model year specs, and most of the configurations got higher range – though it depends on the wheels.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 29, 2021

Tesla confirmed to the NHTSA that it is recalling 2,791 2020-2021 Model Y and 2019-2021 Model 3 vehicles over a suspension issue.

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While electric vehicles like Tesla have continued to grow in sales exponentially in recent years, they remain a relatively new concept for many consumers. A majority of consumers purchasing EVs have never previously owned one, and may not as informed on the charging and battery maintenance practices associated with EV ownership. Your battery pack’s health is vital to the longevity of the EV. Here some tips to help you get the most range out of your Tesla.

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Tesla is rumored to have secured a giant order of 45 GWh of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells from CATL.

It comes as Tesla announced its global move to LFP for standard range cars.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 28, 2021

Tesla just started to sell Model 3s in Singapore this year, and the number of new Teslas on the road there has risen from 30 in the first half of 2021 to 487 in the third quarter, according to Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA). Tesla became the country’s sixth-most popular car brand in September.

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Hertz CEO Mark Fields revealed that its deal to supply Tesla vehicles to Uber includes an option for 100,000 more Tesla Model 3s, which would double its total order to 200,000 vehicles.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 25, 2021

The Tesla Model 3 has become the first all-electric car to become the best-selling vehicle in Europe.

However, that’s on a monthly basis and Tesla’s deliveries vary widely on a monthly basis.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 22, 2021

Tesla is increasing prices for the base versions of the Model 3 and Model Y base prices, the second time this month alone.

Delivery timelines slip a few months again.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 21, 2021

Tesla confirmed that it is moving Model 3 Standard Range production to Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery cells at Fremont factory.

The company also wants the production of the cell, which has been only produced in China, to be closer.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 15, 2021

Tesla has slashed its included premium connectivity period to 30 days for all Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. People are now going to have to pay sooner if they want to retain access to some of Tesla’s connectivity features.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 13, 2021

So you’re thinking of getting a Tesla and wonder, “how much is a lease?” Smart choice. Have you considered the Tesla’s cheapest EV, the Model 3? Or perhaps you have the money to splurge on the Model S Plaid? What color? What added features? Should you buy instead of lease? These are all questions you’ll need to consider before your first zero-emission joy ride.

Fear not prospective leasee, below is a comprehensive guide outlining what a new Tesla lease entails, and what options to consider before you put the pedal to the floor.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 12, 2021

There are several game-changing elements the EV world has patiently but attentively kept tabs on in recent years – solid state batteries, fully-autonomous driving, whether some of these SPAC mergers will actually produce a series production vehicle. As one of the largest names in electric vehicles, Tesla has promised several products over the years. – some of which it has delivered, but many it has yet to (ahem, Cybertruck and 2nd Gen. Roadster). Another fabled prospect promised by Tesla is a $25,000 model. While the automaker has only caught a quick whiff of EV pricing within $10K of that figure, it’s apparently still imminent. Here’s everything we know to date.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 6, 2021

Tesla has implemented a price increase across its entire Model 3 and Model Y lineup in an overnight update to its online configurator in the US.

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How much is a Tesla? Your guide to Tesla prices

You’ve read about all the improvements to emerge both inside and out each 2021 Tesla model as well as the new versions to come in 2022, and maybe you’re more than a little bit tempted. Next, reality sets in, and that age old question rears its head: “how much?” No need to click through several variations of each model on Tesla’s website, it’s all been compiled for you here.

Tesla Model 3 Stories September 20, 2021

My first Tesla was delivered on June 29, one day before the end of the second quarter (wink, wink, Tesla). So that means my husband and I have now been driving our Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus for two months. Here’s how it’s going. (Oh, and our car’s name is Nigel, since a couple of people asked.)

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Tesla Model 3 Stories August 27, 2021

The Tesla Model S and Model 3 provide drivers with either a taste of veteran performance, or refreshing innovation and value. Both combine to form the US automaker’s line of electric sedans, although they share more of their mechanical makeup with their respective assembly-line SUV partners. Below is a comprehensive breakdown comparing the two to help you decide which sedan may be best for you.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories August 26, 2021

Tesla has started sending a cryptic email to Model 3 buyers in the US about an opportunity to accelerate their 3 deliveries.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories August 12, 2021

Tesla has now pushed new Model 3 Standard Range Plus orders to 6 months out, all the way to January 2022. There are likely several factors at play.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories August 7, 2021

A salvaged Tesla Model 3 was modified by a bunch of tinkerers to become the ultimate off-road machine ready for Mad Max or the zombie apocalypse.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories August 5, 2021

As the two youngest electric vehicles to join Tesla’s fleet, the Model 3 and Model Y have quickly helped propel the automaker to a market cap over $700 billion. While both EVs share several of the same parts, they do remain unique from one another in many ways. While not exhaustive, this side by side comparison of the Tesla Model 3 vs. Model Y should help you get a basic idea for how these cars differ…

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Tesla Model 3 Stories August 2, 2021

When learning more about Tesla and its growing fleet of EVs, consumers new to the market have a lot of the same questions. Inquiries such as How much does a Tesla cost? How long does it take to charge a Tesla? How much does it cost to charge a Tesla? Believe it or not, one of the most frequent questions we receive in addition to those above is, How much does a Tesla weigh?

While this question is more easily answered than others, there are a few factors that play a role in the weight of each Tesla model. Here’s everything you need to know broken down by model.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories July 30, 2021

Tesla has reduced the price of the Model 3 Standard Range in China, as the price of the same vehicle produced in the US has been going up.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories July 27, 2021

A battle is emerging in the world of transportation – the electric vehicle (EV) vs. the internal combustion engine (ICE). Soon you’ll have to choose sides, so it’s vital that you’re fully informed.

We’re here to help with that decision by offering context to consumers, whether you’ve never been near an EV or if you’re an expert. Below is breakdown of how far you can travel in each state on $100 in an EV vs. an ICE vehicle.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories July 22, 2021

Tesla (TSLA) has again increased Model 3 and Model Y prices in an overnight update to its online configurator.

It’s the seventh price increase of the year.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories July 19, 2021

Chinese EV automaker XPeng Motors has shared pricing on its upcoming P5 sedan, and it’s quite ambitious. The automaker has officially begun accepting pre-orders on the P5, and has shared that the pricing will begin at 160,000 yuan ($24,650), significantly lower than competitor Tesla’s Model 3, which starts at 250,900 yuan ($38,650) in China.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories July 15, 2021

Tesla has mysteriously removed the Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor from its Chinese configurator, which means that it has stopped taking new orders for the popular version of the electric car in China.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories July 5, 2021

I’ve been writing for Electrek for nearly two years now, and last week, I took delivery of a Tesla Model 3 – my very first electric car. Here’s how the whole process went, from the initial order to final delivery.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories June 29, 2021

Tesla’s active safety features powered by its new Tesla Vision computer vision system without radar are proving to be at least as good as radar in a new independent test.

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In his debut episode for Fully Charged, Jack Scarlett joins Robert Llewellyn in rural Wales to see which of two popular electric cars — the Tesla Model 3 Long Range or the Polestar 2 Long Range — is best suited for a road trip.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories June 28, 2021

Here’s a funny and light little post to start off your Monday. A Tesla owner received a parking ticket from GM when parking in a lot at its Wentzville Assembly Plant in Missouri that is meant for domestic vehicles.

GM’s parking attendant believed the Tesla was a foreign vehicle, but, little did they know, it’s actually more American than the vehicles GM makes in Wentzville.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories June 23, 2021

Tesla has sneaked its way to the top of the list of the most American-made cars.

Now the electric automaker has two of the top three vehicles in Cars.com’s American Made-Index.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories June 18, 2021

As business and national attractions begin to finally open their doors to the public and even allow full capacity, the long-overdue list of activities to do this summer and beyond is miles long. A key factor in experiencing many of these ventures requires some time in your car, and hopefully, it’s an EV — perhaps even a Tesla. Below is a detailed breakdown of what EVs garner the lowest cost per mile, as well as a list of the most (and least) affordable states to charge and drive your Tesla.

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Tesla has reportedly built its own police car based on the Model 3 electric sedan in the United Kingdom, and it plans to use it to test the UK emergency vehicle market.

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