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Tesla launches "accessible" electric car

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Electric car manufacturer Tesla has announced the launch this week of its eagerly awaited Model 3, which the firm hopes will make electric cars accessible to all motorists.

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Tesla founder Elon Musk announced on Twitter that the Model 3 has “passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule,” which means the first cars are expected to “begin rolling off the line on Friday.”

Musk tweeted that “production grows exponentially,” so that 100 Model 3 cars are likely to be manufactured in August, more than 1,500 in September, and in December no less than 20,000, making this the first mass-production model in the company’s history.

The Model 3, according to the South African-born billionaire, will have an acceleration from 0 to 100 kph in less than 6 seconds, and can run for at least 400 kilometres on a single charge of the battery.

But the biggest novelty is that in the US the basic version of the Model 3 will cost $US35,000 – $US27,500 ( $A45,700 – $A35,900) after knocking off the subsidy for buying an electric car – and, according to Musk, will therefore be the best vehicle for the money and will appeal to a mass market.

Up to now, Tesla has manufactured and marketed only luxury autos whose lowest prices have been double that of a Model 3.

Tesla has made a high-stakes bet on the success of the Model 3, of which the manufacturer expects to be producing a half million a year by 2018.

– EFE

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