Tesla Model 3 UK orders set to open in May

Tesla is preparing to open UK order books for the Model 3, according to company CEO Elon Musk.

In a tweet, Musk said the online order page would open “around May 1 or 2”, allowing UK customers to place an order before Tesla raises the price of its ‘full self-driving’ autonomous functionality. From the 10th of May, new orders will need to pay an additional $1000 for the feature.

Tesla had previously confirmed that the Model 3, in AWD Long-range guise, will offer 338 miles of range on a WLTP cycle, meaning it takes the lead in Europe as the EV with the longest official range.

The Hyundai Kona EV previously laid claim to the title, with a range of 279 miles in 64kWh form. 

The car maker launched its configurator in December for European customers who had already put down a deposit for a Model 3 saloon, which in the process revealed previously unconfirmed pricing and range details. 

Model 3 pricing announced in Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and France suggest the entry-level EV will be available from around £50,000, falling to £46,500 after taking into consideration the £3500 UK government incentive for zero-emission vehicles.

The Model 3 is on show in UK dealerships for the first time, with demonstration models on display at Tesla’s London Park Royal and Manchester Stockport locations, ahead of right-hand-drive models arriving in the second half of 2019.

Two models will be available at launch: the four-wheel-drive, long-range version is capable of 338 miles on a single charge, according to WLTP testing. The Model 3 Performance can do 330 miles.

Tesla Model 3 review

The 4WD version reaches the 0-60mph benchmark sprint in 5.1sec and has a top speed of 140mph, while the Performance achieves 0-60mph in 3.5sec. 

Cheaper Model 3 variants are due to arrive later, potentially lowering the entry-level cost to around £35,000.

If so, it would go up against combustion-engined compact executive cars such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE and Mercedes-Benz C-Class in terms of pricing and size.

Model 3 owners will not get free access to the Tesla Supercharger high-speed charging system, with the American company planning to charge for electricity as demand grows and it requires more investment to build up its charging network.

Tesla’s latest results from the third quarter of 2018 showed that it hit production targets for the Model 3, building 53,239 units. This followed a tumultuous second quarter in which a temporary ‘tent’ was constructed outside the firm’s Californian plant containing another production line so as to increase output.

Prospective Tesla Model 3 owners tell us why they’re buying one

Tesla revealed its Semi lorry in November last year, and this is expected to go into production in 2019. Its next model, the Model Y small SUV, is expected to be revealed in March 2019.

The highly anticipated Roadster, a sports car which promises to hit 0-60mph in 1.9sec, is pegged to arrive in 2020.

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