One of the benefits of being the founder and CEO of Tesla—besides having the ability to turn Brentwood into your own personal hideaway—is being the first person to own a new model before it becomes available to us plebeians.
Elon Musk took to social media over the weekend to flex his brand new whip, the Tesla Model 3. Musk also revealed that he would have had to wait in line to get his hands on the new electric four-door sedan had it not been for Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis. Ehrenpreis was actually the first person to pony up the deposit in an elaborate ploy to curry favor with the billionaire business magnate. Ehrenpreis gifted Musk the rights to the first production unit of the Model 3 as present for his 46th birthday.
Ira Ehrenpreis had rights to 1st car as he was 1st to place a full deposit, but gave those rights to me as my 46th bday present. Tks Ira!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2017
First Production Model 3 pic.twitter.com/TCa2NSUNI3— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2017
While the first customers are scheduled to get their Model 3s by the end of July, Musk is treating the rollout of Tesla’s first mass market electric car with far more nuance than he did the Model X SUV. Rather than make the Model 3 available in multiple configurations, Musk has said that little beyond the paint job will be customizable, at least at first. That should help ease the production logistics, which Musk blamed for the quality and manufacturing problems that plagued the Model X SUV rollout.
Although over 300,000 customers have put down an early deposit for the $35,000 vehicle, only 100 cars will be produced in August, with the number increasing exponentially after that. That way, Tesla can ensure that each car is built to the company’s lofty standards.
As for the vehicle itself, not much is known about its intricacies beyond the fact that it will have a range of 215 miles before it needs a charge, and will come with the same self-driving technology as the more expensive Model S. With Volvo’s recent announcement that all its vehicles will be electric after 2019, and the Model 3 set to further democratize what has been a rarefied consumer space, the future is a lot closer than we think.