Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk knows how to keep his company in the headlines. Earlier this week, the company’s Model X crossover made headlines when it was announced that pre-orders have opened for select customers.
Although it was readily apparent to us what exactly Tesla was doing when it announced pricing for the Model X Signature Series, which starts at $132,200, other people were rather outraged at such an astronomically high price tag (as if people didn’t know that Tesla EVs are already quite expensive). The Model X Signature Series is a fully decked out vehicle with nearly every option box checked, and Tesla is also likely banking on early adopters to thrown down some cash to grease its palms a little earlier.
Tesla Model S
Musk attempted to assuage the critics, tweeting out:
With same options, Model X is $5k more than an S due to greater size & body complexity. Sig Series is fully loaded, hence high price.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 2, 2015
We sad as much yesterday, but it’s great to hear confirmation straight from the horse’s mouth.
With that being said, the biggest news to come from Musk this week pertains to the upcoming entry-level Model III electric sedan. Musk confirmed that the Model III will be unveiled in March 2016, and that customers will be able to pre-order the car at that time. Musk also reiterated that the price point for the vehicle is a highly attractive $35,000.
Musk previously said that the $35,000 price point is before any tax credits/rebates are taken into consideration, so you can expect to see at least $7,500 back in the form of a tax credit from the federal government if you purchase a Model III. Various states also provide their own credits and rebates, so there are additional savings to be had when pursuing a new electric vehicle.
Tesla, however, is known for delays – both the Model S and Model X were subject to delays before official production models hit U.S. streets (this was especially true for the Model X). Musk says that production of the Model III hinges on the Gigafactory becoming fully operational. The Gigafactory, which will produce lithium-ion battery packs for all Tesla EVs and its other battery related ventures, is key to Tesla meeting its $35,000 price target. Tesla will also need the vast scale of the manufacturing facility to produce enough batteries to meet the likely high demand for the “Affordable Tesla.”