Electric Cars

Tesla reportedly testing Model 3 production this month

Reuters claims Tesla will begin producing a few Model 3 electric vehicles on February 20, although a person close to the matter suggests otherwise.

Giving hope to the hundreds of thousands of people who put a deposit down on Tesla's upcoming Model 3 electric car, a report by Reuters says the automaker will begin "test-building" the car on February 20. However, a person close to the situation suggests the report confuses manufacturing with parts ordering.

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the Model 3 in April of last year, he said production would begin in late 2017. The company began taking deposits for the new model, helping it raise capital and build up excitement.

The Reuters story said that the information about initial production came out in conversations between Tesla and its parts suppliers. Tesla will build the Model 3 at its Fremont, California production facility, where it currently builds the Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

Much of the interest in the Model 3 comes due to its electric drivetrain, expected to deliver a range of more than 200 miles, and its price, which Musk said starts at $35,000. As the Model S and Model X have prices beginning at $70,000, the Model 3 would be much more generally affordable.

Sometime this year, Tesla will need to set up a manufacturing line for the Model 3, and it makes sense that the company would run a test line to work out any bugs before production. As the Model 3 should be higher volume than Tesla's other models, it could run multiple lines.

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