Tesla Model 3 – level 3
You'd be forgiven for thinking this line of people are waiting for a new Apple product, but these were the scenes outside electronic car manufacturer Tesla on the day they unveiled their first affordable model.
"It's funny to put a deposit down on a car you've never seen. But it's... you know, it's a... it's a Tesla, and it's affordable."
Yes, they didn't even know what the car looked like at the time they placed their one-thousand-dollar deposit. So just what have they bought?
Well, it's called the Tesla Model 3 and will set them back just over 35,000 US dollars – that's around 24,000 pounds. According to the company's Chief Executive, Elon Musk, you'll get 215 miles per charge. It'll also feature supercharging – meaning you won't have to plug in for too long. Oh, and Tesla also plans to increase the number of places offering the supercharging by the time the car's on the road.
Those opting for the base model will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds; other models will be able to go faster. Like some of Tesla's other models there's also an autopilot feature which allows the cars to steer themselves and avoid collisions. And for those that can't travel light, there's storage room at the front and rear of the car.
Despite many people putting the money down now, the first batch of the Model 3 isn't expected to be delivered until late 2017 – yeah, over a year away. The reason for these queues, though? Well, there's a potential tax credit of $7,500 on the electric cars if over 200,000 are bought. The company is planning on making 500,000 cars a year – last year they managed to produce just over 50,000.
In many ways this is a make or break moment for Tesla – despite the Model S being the most popular electronic car on the market, they posted a net loss of 889 million US dollars last year. Much of that was spent on research. It's hoped adding the mass market to the luxury one they currently sit in will change the company's long-term fortunes –, and judging by the queues – that could well be the case!
"Yeah, I think this is the car of future."
Difficult words: unveil (show people something for the first time), chief (most important), executive (a person with managerial responsibility), opt for (plan to have), steer (turn left and right), batch (group produced), make or break (succeed or fail), net (remaining after the deduction/taking away of tax).
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