Tesla has opened the order books for its Model 3, a new electric car which will bring the US car brand to the mass market.
Although deliveries won’t begin until late 2017, the Model 3 has now gone on sale for $35,000 (below £25,000 at current exchange rates) and Tesla claims to have taken 115,000 orders globally already.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has a desire for around 500,000 cars per year across its model lines once production gets up to full speed.
Last year sales of its Model S executive saloon reached 50,580 units, making it the world’s best selling pure electric vehicle in 2015. This year Musk aims for more than 80,000 combined sales of Model S and its new Model X crossover SUV.
However the company is still yet to make a profit – something Musk insists will change in 2016, despite continuing huge investment into R&D. In 2015 it posted a net loss of $889m (£620m).
The five-seat Model 3, similarly sized to an Audi A4, will have a range of at least 215 miles on a full charge, Tesla says, and will include its ‘autopilot’ safety features.
Prospective buyers were lining up at Tesla Stores globally yesterday ahead of the world reveal, including pictured here at the company's dealership in West Drayton near Heathrow.