Elon Musk reveals when you can order a Tesla Model 3 electric car

Tesla's CEO tweets a few details about the company's upcoming electric car, billed as more affordable than its predecessor, including when it should hit the market.

The Model X and the Model 3 will be joining the Model S in Tesla's electric-car range over the next two years.

Josh Miller/CNET

If you're saving your pennies for Tesla's highly anticipated Model 3, the electric car billed as more affordable than its predecessor, you have a few more years to hoard your change.

As he's wont to do, Tesla CEO Elon Musk turned to Twitter to reveal news on an upcoming product from the company. Musk tweeted on Wednesday that production of the Model 3 will begin in "about two years," explaining that the timing is dependent on Tesla's Gigafactory battery manufacturing plant in Nevada.

More enticingly, Musk later tweeted that the Model 3 will cost $35,000 in the US (roughly £23,000 or AU$50,000) and that it will be unveiled in March, with preorders starting then. Though he didn't specify, Musk likely means the Model 3 will be shown off next year. That approach would follow how Tesla has unveiled and begun preorders with its Model S and Model X electric vehicles.

While the Model S has proven popular with consumers, its $71,000 starting price puts it out of reach for many car buyers. At $35,000, about half the cost of the Model S, the Model 3 should be more attainable by the general public. As a smaller car, it probably won't be able to carry as many batteries as the Model S, so it will have shorter range. However, that range could still be around 200 miles.

With this timing, the Model 3 will likely face competition from the Chevrolet Bolt, an electric car unveiled as a concept earlier this year at the Detroit auto show. Chevrolet has confirmed that it's working on a production version of the Bolt that will offer a 200-mile range and be sold for $30,000.

Tesla is currently focused on launching its Model X electric SUV. Musk previously said Tesla will begin initial deliveries of the Model X on September 30.

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