— Tesla’s base Model 3 electric sedan is finally available.
— The Tesla electric cars will only be bought online – but they’ll cost less too.
— Tesla drives down price for Model 3 to $35,000.
The latest Tesla release comes with a redesigned interior and shorter battery life – 220 miles a charge compared with the 264 miles a charge that the midrange model has.
The electric automaker also released a new slightly boosted version of the Model 3, the Standard Range Plus, which gets 240 miles per charge and starts at $37,000.
More than 400,000 customers signed up for the car when it was first announced, but production issues, higher prices and other delays caused troubles following its launch, according to BBC.
Delivery of the vehicles will take about two to four weeks, the website says.
Tesla’s budget version of the Model 3 includes manual seat and steering adjustment, cloth seats and basic audio. It offers a top speed of 130 mph and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Black is the only no-cost exterior color for the cheapest model.
Tesla also said it was shifting all of its sales to online. The move helps enable the company to lower all vehicle prices by about 6 percent on average, Tesla said in a blog post.
Buyers will have a seven-day or 1,000-mile trial period within which they can bring back the vehicle for a full refund, Tesla said. This is an extension of the automaker’s prior three-day trial period.
“Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free,” Tesla said in the post.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long billed the Model 3 as a mass-market compact sedan, aiming to release a version of the vehicle that costs $35,000, which could be the sweet spot seeing as though its fast and expensive $69,500-and-up Model S and X electric sedans are out of reach for most consumers.
“The whole point of Tesla was to build a great affordable electric car,” Musk said at a gathering of employees and a few dozen media for the rollout of the first Model 3 cars in 2017. “That’s what this day means. I’m confident it’ll be the best car in its class, gasoline or not, hands down.”
Leading up to the announcement Thursday, Tesla suspended orders of all cars on its website.
The order screen was replaced with a message that read “the wait is almost over.”
On Wednesday, Musk caused a stir after posting a cryptic message on Twitter, and Tesla’s stock initially rose about 5 percent.