We’re still well over at year away from the reveal of Tesla’s Model III electric vehicle, and even further away from its official arrival on U.S. streets. However, more details about the vehicle have begun to slip out over the past few months.
The latest bit of info is something that never crossed our minds before, but makes complete sense when you think about Tesla’s aim to increase its EV sales and hit more affordable price points. According to Tesla’s chief technical officer, JB Straubel, the Model III lineup won’t just consist of an electric sedan; there will also be a crossover based on the same chassis made available at a later date.
While Americans definitely like sedans (and for some reason seem to abhor five-door hatchbacks), they positively love crossovers. And the entry-level compact crossover market is one of the hottest categories in the automotive sector. This two-pronged approach with sedan/crossover version of the Model III would mirror the approach taken with the Model S and the Model X (which is scheduled to launch later this year). Put another way, think of the Model S and Model X as the BMW 5-Series and X5, while the Model III would be likened to the relationship seen between the BMW 3-Series and X3.
The Model III range is key to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s goal of selling 500,000 EVs by the year 2020. And with a price tag starting at $35,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit is applied, the Model III range will no doubt be a hit for the company.
It was recently reported last week that the Model III sedan will have a driving range of at least 250 miles, which is 25 percent increase over the 200 miles that Musk originally forecast the vehicle. That would mean that Tesla’a entry-level sedan would actually have a longer range than the twice-as-expensive Model S 70D.