Tesla’s Model 3 launched last year, and the reviews have been mostly favorable. The problem is that many Tesla customers can’t decide how much they like the car because they haven’t gotten it yet. The company is only churning out a few thousand vehicles per week, and the ramp-up has been slow. However, CEO Elon Musk says the improved dual-motor Model 3 is still coming, and he expects to begin production this summer.
The Model 3 is Tesla’s cheapest electric vehicle yet with a starting price of “only” $ 35,000. That’s before you add any of the extras like autopilot ($ 5,000) and an extended range battery ($ 9,000). If you want any color other than black, you need to pay $ 1,000 for a pain upgrade. A dual-motor upgrade adds $ 4,000 to the price tag, which can already creep over $ 50,000 if you load up on options.
The single-motor model car is the only one Tesla is making right now, which helps keep the price and complexity down. The company had wanted to make 20,000 cars per month by the end of 2017. However, Tesla was only making a thousand of them each week in January of this year.
Currently, Tesla is making about 2,500 Model 3s per week and hopes to reach 5,000 by the end of Q2. That would get the company to its full production level six months behind schedule. According to Musk, Tesla will begin making the dual-motor Tesla 3 as soon as it hits that 5,000 weekly production mark. Doing so sooner would just make it harder to ramp up production, he claims.
The current Model 3 vehicles have rear wheel drive and the optional extended range battery, but the dual motor configuration will be all-wheel drive. That’s the version of the car many Tesla customers are waiting to get. All of Tesla’s past vehicles have had two motors in order to deliver power to all four wheels, which means faster acceleration, more power, and improved energy efficiency.
In a tweet, Musk estimates that Model 3 production will reach the necessary threshold to begin dual-motor production around July. At that point, it will still take a few months to get vehicles delivered to everyone who reserved the dual-motor configuration. If you don’t already have a Model 3 reservation (which costs $ 1,000 and is applied to the purchase price) you’ll have to wait for a long time. The current wait list is between 12 and 18 months. At least that’ll give you plenty of time to save up for the car.