Tesla is finally setting a more “definite” schedule with regards to the official launch of the Tesla Model 3 electric car. A “limited production” is said to be slated to begin in July of this year although it appears that the first group that will come out of production has been earmarked for investors and employees at Tesla. CEO Elon Musk however did also say that customers may be able to begin configuring their vehicle within 3 to 4 months.
Production trials though have already started with the company stating that material sourcing and crash testing of the Model continue to be on schedule and will likely be able to support the volume deliveries expected in the second part of 2017. The actual volume production though is not expected to start until September. Tesla disclosed that it expects to deliver around 5,000 units per week by the fourth quarter of this year with the goal of increasing it to 10,000 units weekly sometime in 2018.
During a conference call, Musk revealed to reporters that the brand will slowly speed-up the production of the Model 3, in fact looking like an “S curve” that will increase the speed as initial bugs are detects and problems are fixed.
However the launch of the Model 3 would mean that Tesla will need to have addition floor space in order to manufacture the car. Currently, the company intends to assemble the Model 3 at the Gigafactory 1 located in Nevada. However the company also plans to open new facilities and it hopes to settle the final locations for the Gigafactories 3, 4 and maybe even 5, within the year. For those who may be wondering where Gigafactory 2 is, it is in New York and acts as Tesla’s solar plant.
It was in the early part of February this year when Tesla first revealed that it was starting the production of the most affordable electric vehicle to date. A February 20 deadline was given with regards to retooling the factory in order to prepare for a run of its pre-production units.
Because of this, its facility in Fremont, California, will put a stop to production for a week. This stoppage is expected to enable Tesla to increase the capacity of the factory, update the current paint shop, and conduct general maintenance.
The company however assured that the pause is not expected to affect the first quarter sales of the Model S or even the Model X SUV. Once production officially begins, Tesla estimates that it will have assembles of about 400,000 cars by 2018 considering that the pre-orders have already exceeded 370,000. This is higher than what the company has actually sold in 2016. Price of the Model 3 is estimated to begin at $35,000.