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Tesla Model 3 - Why you should care even if EVs are not for you

  • John Goreham


    Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
    Last night Elon Musk revealed the all-new Tesla Model 3. If you are not a fan of compact/mid-size sedans and don't give a hoot about electric vehicles you still might want to check this car out. It is going to have an unexpected and profound impact on EV sales for the coming two years and, and, if its launch goes as planned it is going to end the sedan as we know it by 2020.

First, some Model 3 facts (according to Musk):
- Price is $35,000 for base model BEFORE incentives. Owners could pay as little as $23,500 in California after government rebates
- Range 215 miles minimum base model. Expect 300 mile range on upscale models.
- 0-60 MPH in under 6 seconds. Base model. Upscale models will be faster. Maybe way faster.
- Roomy five-passenger interior
- Looks like the Model S (which looks like the Aston Martin it was cribbed from)
- Supercharger access is included on base model
- Goes on sale late 2017. Expect volume sales mid-2018

The Model 3 is going to have one unexpected effect from now through 2018. It is going to destroy the EV sales of the Leaf, Volt, and other "affordable" EVs of all stripes. Sales are already way below their peak. Who in their right mind would buy an EV now given how much better this one will be? The second effect will start in 2018 if the Model 3 is what Elon Musk says it is. What will happen is that people will first migrate from BMW 3-Series, Lexus IS-type cars to the Model 3. Next, people will shift form the Accord / Camry / Sonata / Malibu hybrids, and then mainstream versions of those vehicles will be impacted. Again, that assumes the car goes as planned.

If you are inclined to dismiss the Model 3, and Tesla in general, keep this in mind; The Tesla Model S outsold the Cadillac ELR, CTS, ATS, and CT6 combined in March. The Tesla Model X outsold each Escalade model in March.

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