Tesla Has Finally Released Its Long-Promised Mid-Range Model 3. Sort Of

October 19, 2018, 8:49 AM UTC

Tesla’s Model 3 was originally supposed to be the company’s mass-market offering, with prices starting at $35,000 before incentives. But that hasn’t happened yet. The version on sale for the last year—the long-range version—costs between $49,000 and $78,000.

However, Tesla (TSLA) is inching toward its target price for the Model 3. On Thursday, CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce a new, mid-range version of the Model 3 that costs $35,000—after federal and state tax rebates. In other words, the new Tesla Model 3 costs $45,000 before incentives.

“True cost of ownership is closer to $31k after gas savings,” Musk claimed.

So when’s the actually-$35,000-before-incentives version of the Tesla Model 3 coming? Early next year, Tesla said.

Tesla has had very well-publicized issues with production and then delivery logistics over the last year. Must said in May that shipping the cheapest, “standard” Model 3 before the pricier models would have caused Tesla to “lose money and die.”

While the long-range Tesla battery pack takes the car 310 miles on a charge, the mid-range Model 3 battery has a range of 260 miles.

Tesla has also changed the Model 3’s option structure, making the rear-wheel drive option available only for the mid-range version of the car, although Musk said it would also be available as an “off-menu” option for long-range Model 3s over the next week.