Tesla coming to South Africa with new Model 3
California: Last night Elon Musk pulled the covers off the long-awaited Tesla Model 3 and went on to confirm new markets to carry out the the brand’s expansion… Tesla is coming to South Africa, but probably not before 2018.
The Model 3 is Tesla’s fourth model. It follows the Roadster, Model S and Model X SUV but unlike the others this is the company’s affordable mainstream passenger car, sized and priced to take on BMW 3 Series.
Straight line, 0-100km/h sprints will again favour Tesla’s instant torque and reports suggest that the base model will reach 100km/h in 6 seconds while the flagship version could do it in less than 4 seconds. Under considerate driving styles, Model 3 could offer a range of 400 kilometres.
For your $30 000 Tesla will give its customers free access to its network of superchargers – currently a non-existent piece of infrastructure in South Africa. Elon goes on to add that by 2017 he hopes to have 7000 of these charging points positioned around the world with 441 service stations dotted around key markets.
Although we’ve previously criticised Tesla’s interior quality – despite the large tablet infotainment system – Model 3 does boast unique packaging advantages. Since there’s no combustion engine the front seats have been positioned further forwards, giving rear passengers more legroom. Compact proportions aside, it will seat five adults in comfort. Like the model S, there is a boot at the front and the back.
Addressing the media at the global launch, Elon boldly claimed that his passenger car would set new standards in crash safety and would achieve 5-star ratings in all categories.
“Why are we making the Model 3? Because we want to accelerate the transition to a future of sustainable transport,” he said at the car’s launch event.
“We’re now at record high CO2 levels and we recently passed 400 parts per million of CO2. To address this, we came up with the Tesla secret master plan. It was originally a trilogy, now it’s a four-part trilogy…”
“With any technology it takes many iterations before you can make it low price and high volume. The Roadster was a low-volume, high-price car, and the Model S and Model X are mid-volume, mid-price products. The Model 3 is therefore our high-volume, affordable-price model. It’s only been possible to reach this after the prior models.”
With order books open for less than 24 hours, 115 000 orders have already been placed by new and existing Tesla clients.