The Model 3 was officially announced in mid-2014, where it was confirmed to feature a sedan body style. Straubel did not indicate if the sedan and crossover would both be available to begin with, or whether their launches will be staggered.
The chief technical officer also stated that the company has begun work on new cars beyond the Model 3, but didn't provide any more details. He also backed up earlier claims by Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, that the company was aiming to sell 500,000 cars annually by 2020. The company sold roughly 16,500 cars in the US in 2014.
Powered by an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, the Model 3 is targeted to have a driving range of around 320km. The current, much larger and more expensive Model S can manage between 440 and 500 kilometres of driving between charges, depending on the model.
Due in either late 2016 or early 2017, the Model 3 will the company's first mainstream model.
Priced at around US$35,000 ($45,600), it will be pitched as an electric alternative to the ever popular BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, as well as challengers such as the Cadillac ATS, Lexus IS and Infiniti Q50. These conventionally powered vehicles kick off from between US$33,000 ($43,000) and US$38,000 ($49,500) Stateside.