Tesla CEO Elon Musk handed over the first batch of Model 3 electric car to employee buyers, aiming to disrupt the auto industry.
An initial batch of the Model 3 cars that rolled out of the Tesla plant in Fremont, California late Friday were given to customers, most of whom were employees of the company.
Tesla founder and chief Elon Musk proclaimed it a great day for the company, saying the goal was to make a terrific electric car “that everyone can buy.” Musk starred in a ceremony at the plant delivering the first batch to their owners.
“It’s the best car for its cost, either electric or gasoline,” he said.
Production of the electric car aimed at the broader market – with a starting price of $35,000 (roughly Rs. 22,43,000) – will ramp up quickly, according to Musk, with 100 in August and 1,500 or more in September.
Tesla aims to produce 5,000 units of the Model 3 a week this year, and 10,000 units a week in 2018.
Tesla already sells S and X model electric cars, but with a starting price of $80,000 they have been seen as wheels for the wealthy.
The Model 3 silhouette resembles that of the Model S, but the new electric ride is smaller with a simpler design.
The vehicle’s battery was designed to keep it going for “at least 215 miles” (345 kilometers) before needing to be recharged, according to Tesla. A battery with a longer range is available for more money.
Musk has mentioned in Tesla earnings calls that while early models were packed with innovative engineering, they caused vexation on the assembly line.
The Model 3, he said, was designed from the outset with mass production in mind to push down cost and crank cars out quickly.