clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Here's what you need to know about the Tesla Model 3

"Even if you buy no options at all," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the unveiling of the Model 3, "this will still be an amazing car."

Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Model 3 — and the culmination of his three-part master plan — in Hawthorne, Calif., tonight. As many suspected, it looks much like the Model S but is more compact. While Musk didn’t spend too much time discussing the company’s first mass-market vehicle — perhaps because of last year’s public criticism of how delayed the event was — he did reveal a few interesting details.

  • The base model will be fast. As Musk said during the event, "at Tesla, we don’t make slow cars." Even without adding any options, the Model 3, which starts at $35,000 before federal tax credits, will go from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds.20160401-Model3-Elon-Musk-Tesla
  • The base model will be able to drive almost as far as a standard-fuel vehicle on a single charge. The car will be able to drive "at least an EPA rating of 215 miles" on a single charge.


  • Even if the car does run out of battery, chances are there will be a supercharger nearby. All Model 3s will have the ability to be supercharged as a standard feature. Tesla plans to add another 3600 superchargers and quadruple the number of destination chargers — for which partnering hotels, restaurants or stores have Tesla wall connectors — worldwide by the end of next year. "A lot about having a car is about freedom," Musk said. "It’s about going where you want to go and the superchargers are critical to that."20160331-tesla-model-3-unveil
  • The Model 3 fits five adults comfortably, according to Musk. In order to make sure there was plenty of space in the vehicle, Musk said the design team moved the front forward and compressed the instrument panel — two things Tesla is uniquely able to do because the car doesn’t have a combustion engine. "It gives you amazing head room and a feeling of openness," Musk said.


  • Just because it’s compact doesn’t mean there isn’t storage space.Like the Model S, the Model 3 will have front and rear trunk space that can fit a seven-foot surfboard.20150401-Tesla-ElonMusk-Model3
  • The Model 3 will be able to semi-drive itself. The Model 3 comes standard with both autopilot hardware — which is the system that helps run the company’s semi-autonomous features — as well as the associated safety features.20160401-Tesla-Model3-ElonMusk
  • The company is expanding its network of store fronts. Tesla expects to double its store locations — of which there are now 215 in Asia, North America and Europe — to 441 locations by the end of next year. "The key point being almost no matter where you are in Asia, North America and Europe you will be able to buy a car or get your car serviced," he said. 20160331-tesla-line-closeup
  • A lot of people have already reserved their car. In the 24 hours since Tesla opened its site for the Model 3, the company received 115,000 preorders. For those who reserved a Model 3, never fear: Musk is confident that the company will begin shipping the cars next year.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.