Gadgets By Samuel Osborne 230 Views

Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk opens online orders for new electric car

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Tesla has announced it is taking orders for the mass-market Model 3, which has a starting price of $35,000 (£26,400).

The company said it would close stores and shift all its sales to the internet in order to cut costs for the electric car.

Its CEO, Elon Musk, said the move was essential to Tesla’s survival.

“It’s 2019,” he said. “People want to buy online.” 

Musk also backed off of earlier guidance that the company would be profitable in all future quarters. Because of the shift, it will lose money in the first quarter and “likely” be profitable in the second, he said. 

Tesla will offer will offer the standard base Model 3 for $35,000, which can travel 220 miles per charge. It also will offer a $37,000 (£27,900) version with a flashier interior that accelerates faster and can travel 240 miles per charge. 

The company started taking orders for the Model 3 in March of 2016, but until now has not been able to cut costs enough to sell them for $35,000 and make a profit.

The cheapest one that could be ordered until Thursday started at $42,900 (£32,300). 

“This is the only way to achieve the savings for this car and be financially sustainable,” Mr Musk said. “It is excruciatingly difficult to make this car for $35,000 and be financially sustainable.”

Tesla said the shift to online sales would allow it to lower all vehicle prices by 6 per cent on average.