The Tesla Model 3 — the electric car built for the masses, or at least those masses who can afford the $35,000 price tag — is scheduled to start rolling off the assembly line on Friday. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the first deliveries will be shipped by the end of July, according to the Associated Press.
According to a statement Musk put out on Twitter, the car passed all government regulatory production requirements two weeks ahead of schedule. Musk indicated that shipments of the car will slowly roll out over the next few months, and hopes to have 20,000 models built per month starting in December. The AP noted that these estimates are actually lower than previously anticipated; Musk originally said Tesla would be making 10,000 per week by December.
The car will be priced around $35,000, making it the most affordable model of Tesla to date. With a $7,500 federal electric car tax credit, it could be as cheap as $27,500, according to the AP. The sedan, which seats five, is recharged via a large battery; on a single charge, the car will be able to travel for 215 miles. It will also provide a "sporty" experience "accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in under six seconds," according to the AP.
The previous Tesla model released, the Tesla Model X SUV, suffered production complications and was delayed 18 months. Musk asserts that the Model 3 is much easier to make, and won't suffer similar delays. Tesla's competitors produce cars at a much faster rate; Toyota, for instance, produced 10 million cars in 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tesla only produced 84,000 cars last year, the AP reported.
The Model 3 was first announced in March 2016, and some believe it could revolutionize the auto market for electric vehicles. Yet competitors have already taken notice and even beat Tesla to the road. The Chevrolet Bolt, a comparable electric sedan, gets 238 miles per charge and costs $36,000, according to the AP. Audi also plans on introducing an electric SUV that will have a 300 mile range.