Model 3 coming, but more patience requiredThose of you who have been waiting a long time for an affordable Tesla, mark your calendars. We now know, based on what Elon Musk said on his quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts, that the Model 3 should be unveiled to the public for the first time in March of 2016. That's just to look, though. Before you can touch, and buy, you'll have to wait until 2017. What we know so far about the Model 3 is that it'll have a family resemblance to the Model S, but it'll be smaller and cost around $35,000 before incentives. If you add to that fuel savings compared to a gasoline car, it's reasonably affordable. And who knows, maybe over time as battery costs fall, the Model 3 price might migrate south, or maybe Tesla will pull an even cheaper Model 1 out of its hat.
Highlights from Tesla's first quarter resultsDuring the first three months of the year, Tesla produced 11,160 electric vehicles, about 10% more than their guidance to Wall Street during the previous quarter. This is a record for them, and in the shareholder letter Musk says: "We continue to see growing Model S demand. In Q1, both North American and European orders were much higher than Q1 last year, despite limited availability of 85D and before the announcement of 70D. While we still have work to do in China, we saw encouraging signs of a return to growth in orders there as well."
Model X coming this yearMusk also reiterated that the Model X is coming later this year, in "late Q3". He seemed quite excited about it, and said on the call: “We certainly have a lot of customers who have been waiting a long time [for the Model X]. This is really a great car. Because it has such a low center of mass, it handles like a sports car even though it’s an SUV.”
Tesla EnergyAs I covered in more details here, Tesla launched a new residential and commercial battery product called the Powerwall. Of this they say in their newsletter:
We are now preparing our supply chain and production teams to start volume builds on these new products in Q3. Production will begin at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, and in Q1 2016 will expand into the Gigafactory and accelerate significantly.
The total addressable market size for Tesla Energy products is enormous and much easier to scale globally than vehicle sales. We are pursuing product certification in multiple markets simultaneously and plan to ramp deliveries in the US, EU and Australia in Q4. When combined with low cost renewable energy, Tesla Energy batteries provide an achievable pathway to a 100% zero carbon energy system.
Big problems require thinking big!
S III XA bit of trivia on how the Model 3 got its name, a story that Elon Musk shared on a previous conference call: “We were going to call it model E for a while and then Ford sued us saying it wanted to use the Model E – I thought this is crazy, Ford’s trying to kill sex! So we’ll have to think of another name. The new model is going to be called Model 3, we’ll have three bars to represent it and it’ll be S III X!”