Tesla Model 3: 10 Things You Need To Know

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Late on Friday, July 28, Tesla handed over the first Tesla Model 3 sedans during a special ceremony at its plant in Fremont, California. As promised, it starts at $35,000 before federal, state, and local tax incentives and will be delivered to owners in the order they reserved it online.

Also see: Exclusive: Tesla Model 3 Extended First Drive Review
Also see: Refreshing or Revolting: Tesla Model 3 Part Deux

We got an exclusive First Drive ahead of the reveal, which you can read here, but here are the top 10 things you need to know about the Tesla for everyone.

10. The all-glass roof is optional.

Not everyone is a fan of sunroofs, and you don’t have to get one if you don’t want to. The Model 3’s trick all-glass roof is part of the $5,000 Premium Upgrades package, which also includes fancier materials, wood trim, an upgraded stereo, and heated rear seats with dedicated USB charging ports. If you choose not to buy it, you’ll get a metal roof.

9. It’s ready to fly.

Tesla engineers had very specific instructions for the frunk: make it big enough for carry-on luggage. That way, you’ll know: If your carry-on bag fits in the frunk of the Tesla Model 3, it’ll fit in the overhead bin.

8. You can use Superchargers.

Like the Model S and Model X, the Model 3 will have the ability to Supercharge standard. Unlike the S and X, there’s no free charging included. All Model 3 owners will have to pay to charge, but Tesla says it’s just enough to cover costs, not make a profit. You’ll be charged by the kilowatt-hour or by the minute depending on local regulations.

7. There’s an all-wheel-drive Dual Motor model coming.

At launch, the only Tesla Model 3 drivetrain option will be a rear-mounted motor and rear-wheel drive. At some point in the future, after production ramps up, Tesla will release an all-wheel-drive Dual Motor model with both front and rear motors. The front motor won’t affect frunk space.

6. Autopilot hardware comes on every car.

Like the Model S and Model X, every Model 3 will ship with all the cameras and hardware necessary for Autopilot-assisted driving already installed. If you want to activate it, though, it will cost $5,000. You don’t have to decide right now because the software can be installed on your car over the air at any time in the future.

5. It’s future-proofed for self-driving.

Sometime in the future, Tesla will release full self-driving software (Autopilot is an advanced cruise control and lane keeping system), and the Tesla Model 3 will be ready. To get the upgrade, though, you have to buy Autopilot software ($5,000). You’ll also have to pay $3,000 for the self-driving software. You can preorder it now or pay when it’s finally released.

4. Your app is your key.

The Tesla App on your smartphone is your key to the car. There’s no key fob to lose. As long as your phone is on you, you have keyless entry and starting. You can also control some features of the car from the app, such as locking and unlocking. Someone needs to borrow your car? Give them the valet smart card, a credit card-sized “key” that allows the holder to open and drive the car.

3. There are two battery options.

The standard battery goes 220 miles on a charge. The optional Long Range battery goes 310 miles and costs $9,000. Tesla will no longer refer to batteries by their kilowatt-hour capacity, like it does on the Model S and Model X, because the numbers are too confusing.

2. It charges like a Tesla: fast.

On a Supercharger, the standard battery charges in about 50 minutes and the Long Range battery charges in about 55 minutes. The standard battery gains 130 miles in 30 minutes, but the Long Range battery gains 170 miles in the same time. At home or at a public 240-volt charger, the standard battery charges in about 7.5 hours, and the larger Long Range battery needs about 8.5 hours. The standard battery gains 30 miles of range per hour, and the Long Range battery picks up 37 miles in that time.

1. It’ll hit 60 mph in under 6 seconds.

It won’t be slow, but it won’t be ludicrous, either. With the standard battery, the Model 3 will hit 60 mph from a standstill in 5.6 seconds. With the big battery, it’ll hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. There’s no Insane or Ludicrous Modes … yet.

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