Tesla has made a name for itself with its luxury electric vehicles capable of incredible things. These cars look sleek, are fully electric, are incredibly safe, and can even drive themselves. One historical issue with them is price. However, Tesla’s first affordable model, the Model 3, just rolled off the production line. High-end electric cars are now in the reach of the middle class.
Increasingly Affordable Electric Cars
One of Tesla’s largest problems before the Model 3 was the sheer cost of its vehicles. Most average Americans were unable to purchase the two vehicles they made. The Model S is a costly $69,200 and the Model X is $83,700. Considering that federal minimum wage puts full time workers at an average of about $15,000 a year, the entire middle to lower class market was unable to be reached by Tesla.
That is changing, and fast. The Tesla Model 3 is targeting the middle class market. This car only costs $35,000. That is just about half as much as the next higher model. If this sort of trend continues -though it would not be halved each time as that is unsustainable-, their next iteration may very well be in the grasp of lower income households as well.
So What Do You Get for $35,000?
Do not let this price tag fool you, this car boasts impressive specs. The Model 3 will be able to go for 215 miles per full charge. To give you some perspective, that means the Model 3 can drive from New York City to Philadelphia and back on one charge. While some combustion engines might get you further on one tank of gas, this range beats any other electric car in its price range.
This is not some weak motor barely capable of going 30 mph. In fact, the Model 3 can go from 0 to 60 mph is under 6 seconds. For a $35,000 car, this is insane. But some of its sports car like performance does not mean its drivers and passengers have to sacrifice space. It can seat 5 people comfortably. The autopilot hardware is also a feature on this vehicle. So if you ever have dreamed of a self driving car but your budget is a bit tight, you might be able to finally get one.
The popularity and hype around this car does mean any new buyers will have to wait though. Currently consumers have to reserve their Tesla Model 3, and delivery of them may be as late as mid 2018. For individuals who have cars that can hold out for at least another year may not see that as too much of an issue, but the literal year long delay can be off putting for many.
With All Electric Cars, We Need to Address the National Grid
Regardless of when consumers finally get their Model 3s, the trend is clear: cheap electric cars are coming and soon everyone will own one. Because of this, I truly think that the US needs to update its electrical grid so that the demand of everyone owning electric cars does not overwhelm the grid. Also the point of electric cars from an environmental point of view is lost when up to 60% of the grid is still powered by fossil fuels.