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Tesla announces cheaper Model 3, but it's still not $35,000

The midrange Model 3 has a 260-mile range and will cost $45,000 before incentives.

Tesla's new midrange Model 3 will offer 260 miles between charges and start at $45,000.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

We like the Tesla Model 3, and while we've enjoyed it in its rear-wheel-drive Long Range trim and its dual-motor Performance trim, what we've really been wanting to see is a Model 3 that gets closer in price to that fabled $35,000 mark that Elon Musk promised the world way back in 2016.

Finally, we're getting a step in the right direction. Tesla's CEO announced on Twitter that the company is releasing a mid-range Model 3 that will start at $45,000.

The midrange Model 3 should be welcome news for those who can't afford to shell out upward of $60,000 for an electric car. Its 260-mile claimed range is still more than adequate for most people to use every day. The lack of all-wheel drive isn't ideal for those in frostier climates, but it shouldn't be a deal-breaker for most. 

Tesla's newly revamped and simplified order page says that the midrange car will be ready for delivery in six to 10 weeks if you order today, but expect that number to go up with demand. This car is still a long way off from the vehicle that the world was promised, but it shows progress, and given the generally rabid enthusiasm of Tesla fans, that's hopefully enough for now.