Tesla lovingly burnishes its reputation for slow roll-outs.
It may seem like forever since Tesla decided it would stop being a car company just for rich folks in cities, and decided instead it would be the car maker for the common man. For those hoping to drive the all-new fourth model from Tesla, which it calls its Model 3, forever just got longer.
On its website this week, Tesla pushed out the schedule for new Mode l3 orders to mid-2018. That means the Tesla Model 3 may still be two years away for fans EV fans who have not yet given Tesla a love letter including $1,000 to hold a space for them.
Tesla’s history of slow roll-outs isn’t over. Back in 2012, it took Tesla five months before it could build 100 Model S sedans in a month. Then it settled in at between 1,000 and 3,000 per month. After having billions of dollars and years to plan for its next launch, it went pretty much the same way with its next vehicle – the company is just now coming out of a drawn-out trickle-launch of the Model X minivan/crossover.
Two years ago, our own Nicole Wakelin gave Tesla fans a heads up on the lengthy waits for the Tesla Model X, and her warning was spot on. The Model X launched in September of 2015. The first five months of production were: six, four, five, 199, 214. Those are total monthly unit sales for the vehicle as reported by Inside EVs. Over its first full year of production, Tesla managed to deliver less than 700 of the Model X vehicles per month. During this time, the company had about 20,000 customer orders.
Tesla’s total capacity right now is roughly 4,000 vehicles per month. In May, Tesla reported to investors that it was holding 373,000 Tesla reservations (along with 373,000 $1,000 checks that came with those reservations). By our math, with Tesla’s present production numbers, that means the company has orders for about 93 months (or about eight years). Tesla will have more capacity for the Model 3 of course, but how much?
So if you are a fan of Tesla’s products, how can you get into an affordable Tesla sedan? Well, one solution is to buy one right now, right here. BestRide has listings all over the country for pre-owned Tesla Model S sedans. Many are still under the factory warranty. Well-equipped, low-mileage, three-year-old Model S cars sell in the $40Ks, very close to the price point the Model 3 will in a couple of years when it becomes available. Why not drive a Tesla Model S now and trade it up for a Model 3 when the new car is finally ready?
Prefer to buy a new EV with a range greater than the Model 3 is expected to have? Your wait is just about over. Chevy expects to begin selling its 238-mile range Bolt EV in just a few weeks.