Tesla Model 3 design prototype – March 2016
The Chevrolet Bolt EV has a range of 238 miles and can be bought today for $37,500.
Later this year, Tesla will launch its Model 3 which is promised to deliver at least 215 miles of range for $35,000.
However, in a Twitter post on Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted that the Model 3 will have more range than the Bolt EV. The hint came from Musk’s post “Oh so little faith,” which was made in response to a fan pleading for the Model 3 to have more range than the Bolt EV.
Though it isn’t outright confirmation that the Model 3 will have more range than a Bolt EV, Musk’s confidence suggests the Model 3 will have the highest range in its class. We should note that it isn’t clear whether Musk was referring to a base Model 3 in his post, or one fitted with a bigger battery.
Speaking of bigger batteries, Musk in a separate Twitter post on Friday revealed that the biggest battery the Model 3 can handle is a 75-kilowatt-hour unit, based on the current “cell/module energy densities” of Tesla’s batteries. This is due to the shorter wheelbase of the Model 3 compared to the Model S which can fit a 100-kwh battery.
The 75-kwh battery in the Model S 75 delivers 249 miles of range, and theoretically it should deliver more in the Model 3 which is expected to be lighter and less powerful. Tesla’s smallest battery at present is the 60-kwh unit fitted to the soon-to-be-discontinued Model S 60, where it delivers 215 miles range. In this case too, theoretically at least, the 60-kwh battery should deliver more range when fitted to a Model 3.
Model 3 production is scheduled to start in July. Tesla is predicting that the addition of the small sedan will see the company’s annual production reach as high as 500,000 units by as early as 2018. (Tesla produced just under 84,000 cars in 2016.)