The big news of the night: there will be two versions of the Model 3, offering differing ranges. The Standard model costs $35,000, offers 220 miles of range, does 0-60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 130 mph. The Long Range Model 3 offers 310 miles per charge. It's slightly faster, doing 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, with a 140-mph top speed. It's more expensive, though, at $44,000.
Musk says that Tesla has made 50 Model 3s this month, 30 for customers and 20 for validation. Customers ordering now will get their Model 3s at the end of next year, but S and X buyers only have to wait until the end of next month, because those cars are already in production.
The first one goes to Elon Musk, as we've learned before. Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson – who scored the first Model S and the second Model X – posted photos of the fifth Model 3 on Twitter.
The first Tesla Model 3 Deliveries tonight!!!!— Steve Jurvetson (@dfjsteve) July 29, 2017
#5 for my Gen Gen.... Happy Birthday!! pic.twitter.com/avKZFzrvjJ
The event began with attendees posting photos of the Model 3 (and booze and snacks) to social media – and then we heard about the Model S and Model X, before going to a crowd at the Gigafactory in Nevada. Part 3 of Tesla's Master Plan is in effect, we hear. We had an update on manufacturing, with an emphasis on delivering a product on time. Then 11-year-old Bria Loveday came onstage, and Tesla played the top three Project Loveday fan-made ad videos. Loveday said she doesn't have a favorite.
The main event followed, as Musk took the stage. He talked about the future of vehicles and how the Model 3 fits into that framework. Talking about its simple, uncluttered interior, Musk noted that you won't need to look at an instrument panel when cars are autonomous, and all Tesla models, including the Model 3, offer the hardware to allow for full autonomy.
Musk played a safety video comparing the Tesla Model 3 to the Volvo S60, "one of the safest cars in the world," he said. After the video, he called the Volvo the "second safest car in the world," playing up the safety of the Model 3.
"Welcome to production hell," he said about the next six months of building the Model 3. People are hounding Tesla and Musk for their vehicles but he's hoping for 10,000 cars per week by the end of next year. He also notes that when the Gigafactory is done, it'll produce more lithium-ion batteries than the rest of the world combined. As for charging, Tesla says it will be tripling the number of Superchargers by the end of next year. "Eventually you'll be able to go anywhere on Earth" and use a Supercharger.
Hungry for more Model 3 news? So are we, and there'll be more to come. Take a look at what we already know here, and stay tuned for any breaking news in the near future.