Tesla Model 3 To Feature New Tech: CTO

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As Tesla continues preparations for a Model 3 release, the hierarchy of the company has been talking about the technology it will utilize. Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer, JB Straubel, recently revealed that the Model 3 will largely be based around completely new technology, as opposed to basing itself on the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV.

Model 3 presentation

Comments from this key figure within Tesla were made during a presentation at the University of Nevada, during which Straubel indicated that the Model 3 would feature entirely new motor and battery technology. This is certainly a departure from what was expected by experts, with many believing that the Model 3 would be particularly strongly based on the qualities and technology included in the Model S.

Strauber commented that Tesla will be “inventing a whole new platform” with the Model 3. he also confirmed that the prototype for this forthcoming vehicle features “a new battery architecture, it’s a new motor technology — brand new vehicle structure…so it’s a lot of work. This is something we started on even a few years ago. But it is a brand new vehicle — and it has to be.”

Despite the entirely new look to the Model 3, it is still expected that some of the basics of the existing Tesla interface will be utilized when the vehicle is released. But the evolution in functional technology included in the vehicle is certainly an exciting prospect, as it suggests that the Model 3 will be an entirely new vehicle, distinct and distinguishable from existing Tesla models.

One of the particularly obvious motivations for this decision will be the profitability of the Model 3. The vehicle is intended to be more affordable, and possibly also with a greater profit margin, than existing Tesla models, and this suggests that a new technology base is a necessity. It would simply be impossible to sell the Model 3 at the price that Tesla has stated it will retail at without creating an entirely new makeup for the vehicle.

Faster production

Straubel also had some good news for Tesla fans, with the executive suggesting that the company is progressing with the Model 3 faster than expected. “This is a sport utility vehicle that we’ve built on the same platform as Model S, so we were able to do it relatively quickly.” This would certainly be an improvement for Tesla, considering the  amount of delays that previously vehicles have been subjected to. One must, however, take this statement with a pinch of salt, as Tesla has repeatedly pushed delivery dates back in the past.

Meanwhile, more interesting news came to light regarding the Model 3 this week, as one of the prolific commentators at the Tesla Motors Club forums gave indication about pricing for the vehicle. Having questioned a Tesla representative at the recent NEC show in the UK, one forum dweller had apparently been provided some interesting information regarding what consumers can ultimately expect to pay for the Model 3.

Pricing info seeps out

The source of this rumor was a solar energy show, and it seems that the Tesla representative mooted a price tag of £25,000 for the Model 3 in the United Kingdom. When the individual in question asked if this was merely a rumor and whether it included government incentives, the rep reportedly stated that she was fully authorized to provide this price, and that the price quoted did not include such incentives.

For those people unfamiliar with the consumer marketplace in the United Kingdom, it is customary for most products to go on sale at higher price points than the United States. So considering that this figure would convert to a retail price of roughly $36,000 in the United States, it is possible that we could ultimately see the Model 3 sell at an even lower price point than this.

With news on the Model 3 accelerating, it is also notable that the corporation has confirmed a possible unveiling date for the Model 3 electric vehicle. Tesla suggested earlier this week that it is on track to deliver this more affordable vehicle in March, despite its existing focus on delivering and manufacturing around 20,000 of its pricier models.

A letter issued to shareholders indicated that the Model 3 will indeed be unveiled in late March 2016, with a middle-class target market that could consider the roughly $30,000 price point to be particularly attractive. Considering that the Model S retails at double this price, it is largely anticipated that this will become the biggest selling Tesla vehicle in the history of the corporation.

2017 release date

Of course, Tesla fans who are excitedly anticipating the release of the Model 3 shouldn’t get too feverish at this point in time. Although we will receive more details about the Model 3 in March, assuming that Tesla does indeed stick to this timeframe, a more likely release date will be at some point during 2017. The Model 3 car can’t go into production until Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory is up and running, and the factory still is not operational at the time of writing.

However, Tesla has reportedly accelerated plans to begin cell production at the Gigafactory by the end of 2016, which at least means that the company is ahead of its initial plans for vehicle.

The Model 3 is expected to be another high-performance physical from Tesla, with sources close to the company indicating a performance up to 60 mph similar to that of the BMW M3. This vehicle achieves 0 to 60 in around four seconds, which suggests that the Model 3 will be an extremely nifty road vehicle.

Overall, 2015 has been an encouraging one for the electric car manufacturer, with Tesla recently delivering a record number of vehicles in excess of 11,500. With the company hoping to boost production server in Q4, delivering in the region of 19,000 vehicles by year end, the future of Tesla certainly appears to be healthy.

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