Tesla's Model 3 now costs less than the average new car
For years, auto investors have placed bets on when electric cars would reach price parity with their combustion counterparts. With Tesla's recent price cuts and government incentives, the company has now achieved this milestone for the Model 3. A Model 3 is now less than the average price of a new car, making it a more affordable alternative for drivers looking to transition to electric or upgrade their vehicle.
The Price Gap Between EVs and Gas Cars
According to Bloomberg's analysis, the price gap between the Model 3 and the average new vehicle sold in the US has never been wider. A Model 3 is now $4,930 less than the average price of a new car. Without credits or fuel savings, the sticker price ($42,999 USD) now sits $800 below the cheapest BMW 3 Series, one of its closest competitors.
While Tesla is reducing the price tag, the cost of gasoline-fueled cars has gone in the opposite direction. The average cost of a new vehicle has risen more than $10,000 since the beginning of the pandemic, reaching $47,920 in January. This rise is driven by a shortage of computer chips, raw material inflation, and car manufacturers' decisions to keep inventories low and prices high while investing heavily in developing electric cars.
Expanding EV Market
Tesla's price cuts have sparked a ripple effect among other automakers. Ford has slashed the price of its electric Mustang Mach-E, while Lucid Group offered $7,500 discounts, and Rivian Automotive announced layoffs. In addition, General Motors is slated to launch electric versions of its Chevrolet Blazer and Equinox SUVs later this year, right in the middle of America's first-ever EV price war. Meanwhile, the Model Y has also seen a substantial price cut of $13,000 earlier this year, making it the third-best-selling SUV in the US, behind the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.
Affordability Driving EV Adoption
That price tag may decrease even further when the refreshed Model 3 appears. Reuters reported that Project Highland would go into production in Shanghai in September. The goal of the refreshed Model 3 is to increase efficiency and cut production costs. We already know Tesla is eliminating the wood trim in the updated version, a cost-saving and environmentally friendly move. While the changes could bring the price down, it is worth noting that when Tesla refreshed the Model S and Model X, the prices jumped by 12% and 15%.
The increasing affordability of Tesla's vehicles may drive the adoption of electric cars and contribute to the growth of the EV market. If Tesla can continue to offer price cuts, it could attract more new buyers as the company ramps up production at its new plants in Austin, Texas, and near Berlin, while expanding capacity in Shanghai. There's never been a better time to buy a Tesla.
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Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.
Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.
Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.
The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.
You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.
While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.
It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.
With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.
Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.
Ambient Lighting in Action
While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
Tesla outdid itself with the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland. Despite all the fantastic upgrades, something is missing - the Performance version or perhaps the Plaid. The letter "T" has shown up on vehicle certificates in Europe, and despite Elon Musk's sense of humor, it is unlikely this is a Mr. T reference.
Deciphering the 'T'
A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
eivissacopter / X
Diligent scrutiny of the European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW and shared on the TFF Forum, revealed a subtle yet pivotal alteration — including the letter 'T' in the eighth digit of the Model 3 Performance's VIN.
This seemingly minor detail, indicative of the vehicle's motor/drive unit type, sparked curiosity and speculation on the forum. Could it be a tri-motor setup to usher in a new Plaid version of the Model 3? This vehicle has already got endless amounts of zip, but three motors? May The Schwartz Be With You!
This could also explain the Model 3+ badging that was spotted during the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China inspection of the refresh. However, the regulatory filings highlighted just two distinct variants of the car: a rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a 194 kW motor and an all-wheel drive (AWD) dual-motor setup that combines to deliver a formidable 331 kW of maximum power.
Initial conjectures leaned towards the possibility of a tri-motor setup, drawing parallels with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. However, a deeper dive into the certification document clarified that the Model 3 Performance retained its Dual Motor setup, dispelling the possibility of a tri-motor upgrade.
Strategic Enhancements: A Glimpse into Potential Upgrades
Given the documented specifications, it becomes plausible that Tesla has strategically enhanced one of the dual motors, potentially aligning it with the advanced motor found in the Model S/X Plaid. This modification is poised to augment the top-end speed and acceleration of the Model 3 Performance, addressing its comparative limitations in extended races against traditional gas-powered supercars.
Meanwhile, the Model 3 refresh has become the new Bigfoot of the roads of North America, with rare sightings posted on social media. However, it appears the continent is excluded from the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland. Internal communications within Tesla suggest North American enthusiasts might have to exercise patience until 2024.
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