2017 Tesla Model 3 in Tesla assembly plant parking lot, Fremont, CA, November 2017Enlarge Photo
Step aside, Chevrolet Bolt EV. There's a new king of the (sort of) affordable electric-car segment. Well, maybe the Bolt EV can stay right where it is for two main reasons. First, there are very few Model 3s on the road at this point due to Tesla's problems with "production hell." Second, no early buyers will see a price anywhere near the $35,000 Tesla has touted since the Model 3 was announced.
For those keeping score, that tops the Bolt EV's EPA-estimated 238-mile range by a pretty substantial margin. However, keep in mind the Model 3 Long Range starts at $44,000 before any options, as well as any federal, state, or local tax credits. The Bolt EV starts at around $36,000 before any tax credits. The big difference is buyers are able to get the Bolt EV at or near that base price.
The EPA's official rating makes the Model 3 one of the most efficient cars available for purchase today with a 126 MPGe combined rating. Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, or MPGe, is the distance a car can travel electrically on the amount of energy contained in one gallon of gasoline.
It's the $35,000 Model 3 that makes headlines for its affordable price, though. The Standard Range variant isn't in production just yet and it will boast an unverified 220-mile range. In fact, only a couple hundred Model 3s have been built in total. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has admitted the company is having trouble building the car in mass production. Musk previously estimated the company would build a couple thousand Model 3s per week by December. December is looming and that target will not be hit.
But, for those patiently awaiting their own Model 3, the wait will end with an electric car boasting an impressive range...eventually.