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Tesla Model 3 finally makes it to UK showrooms

Tesla barely managed to produce 5,000 Model 3's in a week, and UBS discovers they're costing Tesla more than they sell for

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Tesla has announced the Model 3 will finally be making its debut in the UK.

The vehicle, which has been through a troubed production, has not been available to buy in the UK before. From 5 December, however, showrooms in London and Manchester will show off the family saloons.

In the showrooms prospective customers can examine and sit in the Tesla Model 3 vehicles. 325,000 people reserved a Model 3, and so this experience is expected to be popular.

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Previously, Telsa Model 3 production appeared to be in trouble as documents revealed how the electric vehicle manufacturer was struggling to assemble 5,000 Model 3 units per week. The news came right alongside a report from analyst firm UBS' findings around the feasibility of long-term Model 3 production.

UBS analyst Colin Langan said of the firm's findings that he doesn't believe the company will ever make money at the $35,000 (£27,189) price point the Model 3 is listed for. "This car needs to sell in the low $40,000's to break even, and I think they're a long way from the 25% growth margin target unless they can sell it well over $50,000," Langan said to CNBC.

The biggest worry is that, even with the more expensive models, Tesla can't meet production targets. Since launch, the Model 3's production has been blighted with issues and if it can't mass-produce cars that actually make a profit, it'll never be able to scale production to a point where it can affordably build low-priced electric vehicles.

Everything you need to know about the Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 preorders no longer cost $1,000

Tesla Model 3 reservations have been around for a couple of years now, with the company finally deciding to skip the process – which requires a cool $1,000 (£755) deposit – entirely. Now anyone can access the design studio, which has received a sleek online update. But before you rejoice at the democratisation, however, Electrek reports that Tesla will still prioritise orders for reservation holders.

Nonetheless, it's an exciting feature that we personally can't wait to make use of. Check out the below video from Talking Tesla, which walks you through the process. 

This was the first Tesla Model 3

The first production Model 3 was first revealed in July last year when Musk tweeted a monochrome picture of the car.

As for the owner? That wasn’t actually Musk – at least to begin with, anyway. In a later tweet, Musk explained that Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis had the rights to the first car, but he transferred them to Musk as a 46th birthday present. That means Musk has the first example of the Tesla Roadster, Model X and Model 3 – but not the Model S.

READ NEXT: We need to talk about batteries

The Tesla Model 3 comes with Autopilot equipment as standard

This seems to have been largely overlooked, but at its launch, Musk revealed that all Tesla Model 3s will have Autopilot hardware as standard, including all the safety features that come with it. You don’t get the full autonomous Autopilot, but you do get features such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping and automatic preventative steering (Autosteer), which is incredibly impressive at this price.

Plus, because the Tesla Model 3 comes with all the sensors and lasers you need for Autopilot as standard, you can always get the matching software at a later date. It will probably cost you around £2,600, but having the option to upgrade your entry-level Tesla is a real bonus. 

Tesla Model 3 UK price, specs, news and release date: 11 things you NEED to know

READ NEXT: Best electric cars in the UK

The Model 3’s infotainment system could leave customers underwhelmed

Musk neglected to show off the car’s horizontal touchscreen when he first unveiled the Model 3. However, videos like the one below let you see it in action.

The Model 3’s infotainment system is one of the more controversial things about the car, for two reasons. In order to save costs, the Tesla Model 3 has a 15in horizontal screen, which is smaller and rotated compared to the touchscreen in both the Model S and the Model X. What’s more, the Tesla Model 3 doesn’t have an instrument cluster so, unlike the Model S and the Model X, it only has one screen to display all the information the driver needs – from autonomous features to music streaming and air conditioning. And when you throw in the fact that the screen is smaller, that seems like a tough design challenge. 

The Tesla Model 3 doesn't have free Supercharging

For several years, Supercharging was free to Tesla owners, but this service was discontinued at the start of last year. In a statement, Tesla said: “For Teslas ordered after January 1, 2017, 400kWh of free Supercharging credits (roughly 1,000 miles) will be included annually so that all owners can continue to enjoy free Supercharging."

That means free Supercharging hasn’t been scrapped altogether, but it does mean new owners eventually have to pay to use one of Tesla’s quick chargers. As for the price? In the UK, you’ll pay 20p per kWh to recharge your Tesla, and elsewhere pricing is fixed by country.

The Tesla Model 3 isn't THAT cheap

The Tesla Model 3 starts at around $35,000 – significantly less than the Tesla Model S – and it comes with autonomous technology, a range of colours and quite a few interesting options. Except it actually doesn’t. As pointed out by CNNTech, many of the headline features of the Tesla Model 3 are optional and significantly bump up the cost of the new EV.

According to CNNTech, any colour other than black will cost customers $1000, while the Autopilot features cost an extra $8,000. Although the standard Model 3’s 220-mile range is impressive, it costs another $9,000 to get a battery capable of a headline-stealing 310-mile range.

As with any car, the Model 3 will cost more with extras, but the surprising thing here is just how little the Tesla comes with as standard. The base Model 3 is still revolutionary and comes with all the kit you’d expect from a tech-filled car in 2017, but you’ll need to pay a lot more to get the real "Tesla" experience.

YouTuber and Tesla fan Ben Sullins has created an online calculator for the Model 3, as spotted by The Next Web. You can choose your battery, select your upgrade, wheel and colour choice as well as your loan plan to get a monthly fee. Click the form below to use the tool.


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