Elon Musk Says the Tesla Model 3's Interior is Built For Autonomy

Elon Musk Says the Tesla Model 3's Interior is Built For Autonomy

At a launch event organised at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, 30 lucky Tesla employees got to collect the first Model 3 vehicles.

The Model 3 cars, which Tesla says will travel 350 kilometres on a charge compared to the longer-range luxury edition electric auto which can travel 500 kilometres, have price tags starting at $US35,000 ($44,000).

The firm received 115,000 orders in only 24 hours yesterday before the vehicle was unveiled, Musk said, speaking at a launch event at Tesla's California design studio.

Tesla's share price has surged 54 percent since January in anticipation of the Model 3 launch, and Tesla's pricey valuation now exceeds that of traditional rivals like General Motors and Ford Motor Co.

USA media were invited for a tour of the factory and to test drive the Model 3 for themselves. The Model 3 was created to be minimalist so that Tesla can produce more cars faster.

The costs contrast with that of previous Tesla models, the Roadster, Model S and Model X, which hovered around the $100,000 mark or more.

Until Friday, Tesla had released few details about its newest vehicle and its pricing structure - one that would lower the entry barrier into the company's luxury niche.

Volvo, which is owned by China's Greely Holdings, is taking it even further than its rivals, though, and plans to make all of its new cars either fully electric or hybrid beginning 2019.

Tesla will then place your order in line and deliver the vehicle as it becomes available in your region.

The Model 3 will eventually be capable of full autonomy.

First unveiled in March a year ago and detailed only in vague terms, the Model 3 has been the subject of intense speculation up until now. "We're going to do everything we can to make cars as fast as we possibly can". Musk said more than 500,000 people have put down a $1,000 deposit for the auto. Tesla's Autopilot suite of autonomous-driving hardware would also be standard-issue, as they are in the Model S and Model X. Tesla hopes to produce 20,000 units in December. But Musk was more specific on Friday night, when the company made its first deliveries of the new vehicle.

The standard model has a range of 220 miles, a top speed of 130 mph and an acceleration from 0-60 mph of 5.6 seconds. Since its unveiling past year, the Model 3 has garnered over 500,000 pre-orders from prospective buyers worldwide.

As a back-up, or for valet access, each Model 3 will come with a couple of NFC cards, which can also unlock and start-up the auto. Given that in the last nine years, Tesla produced a total of 200,000 vehicles, meeting half a million orders within the next 17 months is a tall order for the company.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the automaker will go through "manufacturing hell" to meet the ambitious production targets it has set.

Were Tesla to produce and sell 500,000 cars per year, the company would likely outsell the BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus brands in the United States.