Tesla Model 3 makes Euro debut, Nissan Leaf heads sales
Just days after Elon Musk announced his factory is popping out Model 3s at a rate of 5,000 units per day, Tesla confirms it will be bringing the highly anticipated but much delayed midsized saloon to Goodwood later this week. Indeed, the Festival of Speed is the venue Tesla has chosen to reveal the European model of its affordable EV.
The first European customers who ordered a Model 3 when it was revealed - now over two years ago - will receive the keys to their car in the first half of 2019, Tesla says. If you order one just now, it will take the company between 12 and 18 months to build it and ship it to a dealer near you.
Tesla promised to sell the entry-level Model 3 at $35,000, but not a single base model has left the assembly line so far. At the end of May, the EV-builder's CEO admitted that selling a Model 3 at 35k would be disastrous for the company. "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" he tweeted.
If you cannot wait that long, you might consider the Nissan Leaf. It has a 40-kWh battery yielding up to 270 km of range under WLTP conditions and costs about €30,000 before tax. That makes it a popular choice among EV drivers. In the first 5 months of 2018, the Nissan Leaf sold 14,556 times in Europe - 1,000 more than the Renault Zoé, which has always been the most successful EV in Europe until now.
Interestingly, the VW e-Golf jumps over the BMW i3 into third position (+240%), while the Smart EQ Fortwo and Forfour enter the top 10 out of nowhere. The Tesla Model S holds the line, contrary to the Model X. The latter may face tough times now that the Jaguar I-Pace is out there - at a much more reasonable price.
Picture copyright: cover: Tesla, 2018; slide: Jato, 2018