Tesla Model 3 Update: Gigafactory Production, Price, Specs & Release Date

Tesla Model 3 Update: Gigafactory Production, Price, Specs & Release Date
Tesla is putting its Gigafactory into gear, just in time to start production on its Model 3, which will be the company’s first foray into affordable electric vehicles. Photo : Car Collection/YouTube

What is arguably the real trouble with Tesla's earlier releases - the Model S and Model X - is that it was beyond what most people could afford. For this reason, the Model 3 has become so popular in the battery-powered vehicle world. Fortunately, the company has already begun construction in its Gigafactory, which should help deliver on reservations and production targets.

According to Elektrek, Tesla recently held an event for its investors last week at its Gigafactory in Nevada. Coming from that event are some vital pieces of information regarding the company, its Model 3 and its plans for the immediate future. One of these is the start of production on the 2170 battery cell, which will be fitted into the Model 3.

The mass production of the new battery cell, which is both thicker and taller than previously used cells, allows for more energy at a lower cost. This helps the Model 3 in terms of price, but actual production for the upcoming model is not scheduled until the second quarter of the year. There is, as Tesla admits, one more thing that helps minimize the cost of the upcoming electric car -- putting everything under one roof.

Put the Gigafactory has one other feature that will take it one step further. Elon Musk revealed that Tesla plans to power the plant through solar energy - which would conversely answer why SolarCity was acquired by the company. Apparently, the company will begin installment of installations both on the rooftop and on the ground. At 70 MW, the rooftop array will be the largest that the world has seen. Currently, the largest in the United States is only 10 MW.

But running on solar energy is not the only way that Tesla plans to decrease its carbon footprint. The company has plans in place to use heat recovered from the production process to cover the building's heat. Moreover, a closed water loop system will allow the recirculation of about 1.5 million liters of water.

In terms of the Model 3, however, the publication deduces that the investors may have seen the 2170 battery cell for the first time. Tesla also reconfirmed that the batteries will start making their way into the Model 3 by the second quarter. The vehicle will be a four-door sedan that is smaller than the Model S and will be fully electric.

By the second quarter, Auto Express UK claims that the public will also be able to learn about the different battery pack options, as well as learn more about the interior design of the Model 3. Those who have preordered the model have been receiving continuous updates on the production. The latest update confirmed that Tesla will be able to deliver on reservations by the end of 2017.

Those who paid a down payment of US$1,000 and have thereby put down their name for a Model 3. The total purchasing cost of the same is around US$35,000, but the publication notes there is a payoff. Musk revealed at Tesla's annual shareholder meeting that the unit will not have access to the company's free Supercharger network.

Musk promised that overall costs of the Model 3 will still be minimal when compared to the Model S and the Model X. However, the charging costs would be necessary as it would be considered uneconomical to offer the service for free. The unit should be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in six seconds and can travel at 215 miles on a single full charge.

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