Live Blog: Tesla Unveils the Model 3
Tesla plans to unveil its highly-anticipated electric car for the mass market tonight: the Model 3. Follow along as Fortune live blogs the event in Hawthorne, Calif., just outside Los Angeles, starting at around 10 pm ET (7 pm PST). Tesla CEO Elon Musk will be on hand to reveal all the details about the new car, which, until now, have been a closely guarded secret. Don’t miss out.
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A long line for riding in the Model 3. No test drives only test rides.
We’re about to take a ride—no driving this time—in the Model 3. And yes, Fortune will have a full description of what this Model 3 ride is like, how it compares to the Model S, and other up-close-and-personal observations of the new car.
9:12 pm PST:
As the crowd mills about, three Model 3s take center stage and spin slowly around. The music is still blaring and there’s of course more drinks to be had.
9:08 pm PST:
The Model 3 in red. For a $35,000 car, the Model 3 is luxurious looking.
The back of the Model 3:
An up close view of the Model 3 on stage at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The front of the car looks almost Fisker Karma-like. Its got the same type of door handles as the Model S that I’m assuming rise when the driver approaches them.
Elon standing next to the Model 3. Here’s why this mass-market car is such a big deal.
Elon says: “How are we going to make these cars. There’s two parts, first the Fremont factory, so we’re confident we can make high volume cars there. And what about the batteries? We need to absorb the entire world’s lithium-ion production. To give you a sense of scale, the Gigafactory will have the largest footprint of any kind anywhere. It will make more lithium-ion batteries than any other factory combined. It will also produce the most advanced battery cell of its kind. It’s already operational today.”
“Deliveries will be next year. I feel fairly confident it will be next year (everyone laughs).”
“And it’ll be $35,000.”
And here it is! The Model 3. After introducing the car, Elon says Model 3 reservations in the past 24 hours have surpassed 115,000.
8:53 pm PST:
Elon talks about the master plan. And then gets into the details of the Model 3.
“Some aspects of the Model 3. First the Model 3 will be an incredibly safe car. It’ll do zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds. And versions that will go much faster. It will have an EPA rating of at least 215 miles per charge. All Model 3s will come standard with autopilot. The Model 3 fits five adults comfortably. We do two important design steps, moved front seats forward, so you’re sitting further forward. That’s what gives leg room for five adults. Also the rear window is one continuous piece of glass. Also has front and rear trunks. Has more cargo capacity of any gas car with same external dimensions.”
“Can you fit 7-foot long surf board inside? Yes.”
“All Model 3s will come with super charging as a standard. We’re now at 3,600 super chargers worldwide. But the end of next year we’ll double the number of super charges.”
Elon arrives. “The Model S and the X paid for the Model 3 development. So thank you all who bought those.” Elon Musk
8:49 pm PST:
Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla’s chief designer, walks on stage and introduces CEO Elon Musk. The crowd goes wild.
8:48 pm PST:
8:30 pm PST: Everyone’s waiting for Elon.
7:31 pm PST: Okay it’s 7:30 pm everyone. You now can try to get on the Model 3 wait list using Tesla’s online site. Men in suits are huddled over the computers in the corner:
7:25 pm PST: Sunset over the Tesla Model 3 launch event:
7:08 pm PST: There’s a line of computers in the corner, presumably for folks at the event that want to start signing up for the Model 3 wait list. The online registrations start at 7:30 pm. I’m curious to hear from all those customers that already put down a deposit, after the unveiling. Did it meet expectations?
7:05 pm PST: A Model X, which started shipping last year, gets prime real estate at the event, with its sweeping doors wide open.
7:01 pm PST: The lines outside the event, as members of the media, Tesla fans, and even some politicians comes streaming in.
6:55 pm PST: Speakers are blaring dancey pop music, and there’s a DJ propped up on a stand under the Super Charger sign. He just transitioned from a club remix of Adele’s Hello to Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence. . . And then Kate Bush. Cheesy but I like this guy.
6:49 pm PST: It wouldn’t be a Tesla event without the Tesla open bar.
6:44 pm PST: We’re inside! Tesla opened the doors and let some of the lines in. It’s starting to fill up.
4:34 pm PST: We’ve landed in sunny Los Angeles, more specifically Hawthorne, a few hours before the big Model 3 reveal. The parking lot of our hotel already has a Model X parked in it. We’ll head down to Tesla’s design studio shortly, where the launch is taking place and give you some snapshots of the scene.
Tesla says 800 people will be at the event, including Tesla customers, shareholders, press and probably a celebrity or two. Hey it’s LA. And it’s Tesla! Analysts and speculators are now estimating that between 100,000 to 150,000 reservations were made today for the Model 3. Tesla CEO Elon Musk will probably reveal the true number shortly after 830pm.
If you didn’t get a chance to play hooky from work today and stand in line for hours to get on the Model 3 wait list, you’ve got another chance starting at 7:30 pm PST (in three hours) when you can register online.
4 pm PST: While waiting for the event to start, you can catch up on Fortune’s recent coverage of the Model 3: