Thanks to the wonder of timezones, Australian hopefuls will be the first in the world to book a $1500 reservation for the coming Tesla Model 3 all-electric sedan.
Reservations for the smaller and more affordable sibling to the popular Model S will open worldwide on March 31, starting with the brand’s global retail centres.
Cementing the Tesla brand’s status as ‘the Apple of cars’, many would-be buyers have already indicated via social media that they intend to camp outside stores for the opportunity to be among the first to secure the right to purchase.
Buyers unable to make it to a Tesla centre – or who simply prefer to avoid the queue – will wait until around 2:30pm on April 1 (AEDT), when the still-unseen Model 3 is scheduled to be unveiled.
All of this means that those lining up at Tesla retail centres will not have seen the Model 3’s final styling before laying down their $1500 reservation. Likewise, even those that wait for the unveiling will not know everything – including final local pricing – with Tesla already confirming that it will hand down more information over time.
At the very least, Tesla founder Elon Musk has long stood by a commitment to pricing the Model 3 at around US$35,000 ($46,200) in its home market, before any federal and/or state government green-vehicle incentives have been added.
Above: Tesla Model S
Australia is a very different market, however, with few to no government incentives offered to inspire buyers into buying a electric or hybrid vehicle.
Depending on the state, Tesla’s large Model S sedan begins at around US$70,000 in the US ($92,300), while an entry-level Model S 70 will cost around $110,000 in Australia before on-road costs.
As for the Model 3, a starting price of around $60-$70,000 would appear likely, making the mid-sized sedan an accessible and appealing alternative to equivalent models in similarly priced rival ranges like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.
It could be some time before we know pricing, however, with production not even scheduled to begin until late next year. Australian buyers will wait even longer for delivery, with a date in 2018 very likely to be on the cards.
Watch for more details to come on April 1 – and in the months after that.
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@elonmusk $35k price, unveil in March, preorders start then.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 2, 2015