TMR Team | Jul 28, 2017

Tesla’s position as a premium product looks set to tumble, with CEO Elon Musk giving the first hint of what Australian consumers can expect to pay when the new, more accessible Model 3 medium-sized EV arrives locally.

Compared with the upmarket Model S, the Model 3 looks set to undercut its bigger brother by more than $70,000 if a tweet from Musk predicting the price of the new model holds true.

In reply to a tweet from Australian-based Nicholas Orford who asked about how much the upcoming entry-level Model 3 will cost, Musk suggested that the Model 3 would match the US pricing for the BMW 3 Series-sized EV, plus local import duties and taxes.

By TMR's calculations that should see the entry-level Model 3, which has a US$35,000 starting price, equate to just under $50,250 in Australia. However, Tesla Australia may elect to specify local vehicles differently, and is yet to confirm details of Australian-bound cars, which means the US entry-level model may not be offered locally.

After a protracted lead-up the first production example of the Model 3 was handed over to to its owner as part of an unveiling ceremony in California last weekend.

Australian customers are expected to take delivery in 2018, though the exact date is yet to be locked in as full-scale production of the Model 3 isn’t expected to be reached until later this year. Tesla has previously claimed more than 400,000 pre-orders have been taken since it first revealed the pre-production version of the car in April 2016.

The smaller, cheaper Model 3 have a range of 346km between charges, falling short of the 400km to 540km range available in the Model S (depending on specification). The Model 3 will also differ from the Model S and Model X with owners required to pay for access to Tesla’s fast-charging Superchargers network, unlike the larger models which include access to the service for free.

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