Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3 has arrived.
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.
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.
It remains unclear whether Telsa approved of Musk’s tweets about the Model 3 announcement. The billionaire CEO has come under fire by the SEC for his use of the social networking website.
On Monday, the SEC filed a claim against Musk for not complying with an agreement reached with the Wall Street regulatory agency in late September. The SEC accused Musk of securities fraud after the Tesla chairman tweeted that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019.”
Musk, who’s known for dropping subtle hints about the American automotive company on social media, made changes to his Twitter bio on Wednesday. His Twitter name was changed to “Elon Tusk” and he added an elephant emoji.
He also had changed his photo to a picture of Mars with the word “Revive” on it. His user name has since returned to “Elon Musk” and now features an image of a black Model 3 with Aero wheels.
Tesla stock (TSLA) was down 3.6 percent in after-hours.
Follow USA TODAY Consumer Tech Reporter Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown
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