On March 31st, at the SpaceX Los Angeles headquarters, extraordinary event took place with, potentially, profound effect on entire transportation industry. Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the final piece of Tesla's "4 piece trilogy" - the the Tesla Model 3.
With a base price of US $35 000 and EPA range of "at least 215 miles", Model 3 will completely change the economics of owning electric car.
Historically, electric cars were always plagued with compromises - everyone assumed that in order to run electric car you would have to make sacrifices. Performance, handling, comfort and even good aesthetics - none of these individual qualities were associated with electric vehicles, much less could you imagine a single electric car possessing all of them.
This changed recently, with introduction of Tesla Model S and Tesla's Supercharger network. Model 3 will build on this initial success, and, with pre-orders already outnumbering the total amount of Model S sold ever, this won't be no ordinary expansion.
Tesla plans to double the entire Supercharger network within a year, and soon there won't be a place worth going, without fast charging outlet nearby. This means long distance travel will be non-issue and hardly less convenient than filling up at gas station.
Without progress in lithium ion batteries this would not be possible. Electric car revolution is a self-propelling feedback loop - consumer acceptance is driving electric car sales, which in turn reduces cost of battery production, which leads to cheaper electric cars and even more enthusiasm.
If Model S was something you read about in news, Model 3 may very likely be the first electric car you own. If Tesla battery Gigafactory is able to deliver on expected production volume, Model 3 will deliver on price - both at the showroom and in the used electric car market, especially with the prospect of cheaper replacement battery packs.