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Tesla hit the ground running with its new Model 3 electric vehicle, with impressive advance sales that indicate this car will be very mainstream at a $35,000 price tag, but the design has not yet been finalized though mass production will begin next year.
According to Tesla, the Model 3, unveiled in March, will see its final design completed by 30 June.
During the Q1 conference call with analysts last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that the Model 3 design was not complete, saying it would take another 6-9 weeks to complete engineering decisions.
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"From an engineering standpoint, we are already almost complete with the design of Model 3", he said. "So I think we feel pretty good about engineering completion of the last items probably within six to eight weeks, thereabouts. And so we're sort of completing the final release for tooling no later than the end of June."
Tesla is hoping to start mass production of its Model 3 towards the end of 2017. The plan is to produce 500,000 vehicles a year in 2018.
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Tesla has about 400,000 reservations in the queue, with a refundable $1,000 deposit.
The first cars should be delivered to customers in late 2017.
The model provides a driving range of at least 215 miles (350 km) on a single charge and allowing a 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) sprint in 6 seconds.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com