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Tesla’s long-awaited $35,000 Model 3 is here

Tesla’s long-awaited $35,000 Model 3 is here
[Photo: Xinhua/Ding Ting/Getty Images]

Tesla finally delivered–two years late. At 5 p.m. on Thursday, the long-awaited $35,000 Model 3 sedan went up for sale.

The base model–Tesla’s most affordable car by a long shot–can go 220 miles on a single charge, has a top speed of 130 miles per hour, and can hit 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds. It is not all-wheel drive (though you can opt in for that) and it does not come with autopilot. However, with various tax incentives, it can cost as little as $29,250.

CEO Elon Musk first debuted its affordable all-electric vehicle in 2016 and promised it would arrive sometime in 2017. Musk has a tendency to deliver his promises on his own time schedule, so it’s no surprise the car is only being made available now, in 2019.

[Screenshot: Tesla]
In the meantime, Tesla has focused on producing more expensive versions of the Model 3 to keep the company financially viable. As Musk said last year in a tweet, “With production, 1st you need achieve target rate & then smooth out flow to achieve target cost. Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die. Need 3 to 6 months after 5k/wk to ship $35k Tesla & live.”

Speaking of finances: Tesla has $920 million in convertible debt that comes due tomorrow. The company has the cash to make the payment, though it could be a squeeze. Of course, Tesla is famous for being able to keep going even in the face of difficulty. The company’s stock closed up more than 1%, though it went back down in after-hours trades.

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