Elon Musk Says Chances Are “Pretty Good” For AWD Tesla Model 3 Deliveries To Start By End Of 2017

2 months ago by Eric Loveday 32

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

During the recent Tesla Model 3 Tweetstorm it became known for the first time that Tesla would start deliveries with only rear-wheel-drive versions of the Model 3. All-wheel-driver versions would come later. This was rather surprising to the perhaps hundreds of thousands of Model 3 reservation holders that were expecting to get a top-of-the-line AWD Model 3 sooner rather than later.

At the time, Musk stated that the dual-motor, AWD versions of the 3 would come, “but not until next year.” Musk added, “first in line for dual motor [will get their cars] as soon as we can make it, which is probably in 6 to 9 months.”

Now, according to Musk, there’s a “pretty good” chance some AWD 3s will be delivered this year. Here’s the exchange on Twitter:

Musk Tweets On AWD Model 3

He’s not guaranteeing delivery of AWD Model 3 in 2017, but it seems Tesla may be rethinking the immediate focus only on RWD 3s. Guess we’ll find out in about 8 months or so if the first dual-motor 3s gets delivered this year or sometime next year.

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32 responses to "Elon Musk Says Chances Are “Pretty Good” For AWD Tesla Model 3 Deliveries To Start By End Of 2017"

  1. Joel Sapp says:

    Musk did say 6-9 months in March. If you read that as 6-9 month from when he said it, that would be late September to late December timeframe.

    1. ffbj says:

      No. I was reading that as from start of production. Which would put them in December at the earliest.

  2. Four Electrics says:

    This is good news, as RWD in the snow is a recipe for a body shop visit. My M3 order may well occur in 2017. Still no announced Apple Car integration.

    1. BenG says:

      The heavy and evenly distributed weight of the battery in the Model 3 should mean the rear-wheel drive version will do fine in the snow if it’s on tires with good tread.

      I had an MR2 years ago that was great in the snow because the weight of the engine was over the rear drive wheels. The usual rear-drive set-up of an IC engine and transmission both being in the front of the car with drive wheels in the back is indeed horrible in the snow, but I that won’t apply to the Model 3.

      1. John says:

        RWD tends to oversteer no matter what the weight distribution is..

        1. Mongo says:

          It’s the unskilled driver who oversteers. Weight distribution matters.

          1. taser54 says:

            So Tesla drivers should worry.

        2. M says:

          Your option. My experience says otherwise.

    2. sveno says:

      I thought RWD was a recipe for fun in the snow 🙂

      With traction control and stability systems it is actually quite hard to tell them apart these days.

      1. Steven says:

        Get a good inch or two on the ground and…

    3. Windbourne says:

      We own an Rwd MS and drive in Colorado. Due to weight being equally distributed, you just need some snow tires to get around nicely in it.
      Blizac or nokian snow tires are great for this.

      1. Confused says:

        And all the electronics help tremendously.

    4. Steven says:

      Really?
      Funny thing, I learned to drive in ’76 Chevy Nova, in Massachusetts.

      News Flash: The Nova was RWD.
      News Flash: It snows in Massachusetts.

      Funny thing, I didn’t get into my first accident until I had a Datsun B210 in Pennsylvania. (It snows there too)

      Long story short, if you know how to drive properly in the prevailing conditions, you eliminate a lot of accidents.

    5. Stimpy says:

      I’ve been driving RWD in the midwestern snow for over a decade without issue.

      Proper tires are all that’s needed, which is why many countries require winter tires by law. And always keep in mind AWD does nothing to help you stop.

  3. JB says:

    Does anyone has an idea (maybe based on previous launches) of how many of the approx 400k people who did a reservation for the M3 will actually purchase the car eventually ?
    I would guess that some factors could push people to cancel (“hype” when reservation started, options, delay…)

    I genuinely don’t have a clue, any input is welcome.

    1. leafowner says:

      Don’t forget — many new reservations have also taken place since the first 400k — some even say there are somewhere near 600k active reservations. How many have cancelled is unknown — but frankly if you are an early reserver and you keep your reservation, buy the car — there is a good chance you could make a profit by reselling it to someone way down on the list….

    2. Boom says:

      Nobody has an idea. This is an unprecidented and new event. The demographics of reservation holders of the previous launches significantly differs from the demographics of the Model 3.

      1. Windbourne says:

        You are correct about demographic s being different between M3 vs. M[XS].
        But, in the lower end, you have a much higher % of ppl that are driven to own a non polluting vehicle. IOW, they are far more alturistic, while many in the above did it for performance, or total lower costs if ownership.

      2. Evhopeful says:

        Check out model3tracker website.
        They log everyone that has made a reservation through their website.
        Just under 8000, not including the people that did not log info with them.

    3. Windbourne says:

      First off, it is not 400,000. Tesla has more than $700,000,000 of deposits. Some is MS/MX, but considering that most ppl get those within 3 months or less, you would have to guess that Ms/MX us at MOST 100,000, which means 600,000+ M3 on pre-order.

      Secondly, supposedly, less than 5% of MX preorders were canceled. Considering the wait time, and then quality issues, I would guess that M3 will be less than 5%, if not less than 1-2%.

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        The 10-K says: “As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, we held $663.9 million and $283.4 million in customer deposits. The increase is primarily due to Model 3 deposits.”

        The increase of $380 million almost perfectly matches the 373,000 reservations from Musk’s final tweet on the matter last spring.

        When asked about Model 3 reservations, Musk declines to answer but says “we actually anti-sell the Model 3”. Customer deposits have held remarkably steady the past few quarters. The numbers and the rhetoric both indicate Model 3 reservations remain steady near 373,000. Your theory of 600,000+ requires multiple leaps of logic.

        1. Mint says:

          Thanks for the analysis!

        2. Confused says:

          I wonder how many will drop when option costs are published. One thing to dream about a $50k car and another to actually sign the loan. It may be low though…We will see…

    4. Cavaron says:

      I would guess that the list of people who doesn’t have reserved it becaused of the long waiting list and not beeing able to test one is as long as the list of people who could cancel because of various reasons.
      So one group could even the other out…

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Right. It was reported at one time that about 25% of Model S orders were cancelled, but even if the same percentage holds true for the Model 3, that doesn’t answer JB’s question. A proper answer has to estimate the net number of reservations, including both cancellations and reservations made since that ~375,000 figure was published.

        As you can see from contradictory comments above, there are wildly varying estimations of how fast new reservations are coming in.

    5. Someone out there says:

      I think quite a few people will cancel their reservation if Tesla won’t give the 3 a decent interior. A lot of reservations was made before the car was revealed, I suspect many of those will be cancelled.

  4. George Parrott says:

    Even the early rear wheel drive Model S cars were big hits in Norway and reported to have “very good” traction performance in that challenging environment.

  5. Jonathan Brusco says:

    As someone who waiting in line starting at 4AM and got an order in by 10:15, I’m also pretty concerned about the non-AWD deliveries not being first. There’s a lot of factors to this, especially in CA. I don’t mind waiting a couple more months to get a M3, if I truly want AWD, but I will also run the risk of the CA rebate expiring for me if I wait too long. The second the M3 hits, especially in CA, you’ll see a major spike in sales and claims of that rebate. I wasn’t banking on it lasting until then, but now it looks like a possibility. If I wait and lose it, I’m effectively paying an extra $2500 for AWD on a Model 3. Furthermore, with the federal tax credit, if I push that into 2018 with a deliver date of January, I have to wait until April 2019 to get that $7500 back. I also have to sweat it out and hope that Trump “in his infinite wisdom” decides to not gut the tax credits, otherwise I could get stuck with an extra $10K on a car because I waited for AWD.

    Elon, what you need to do in about 4 months, right when we get close to M3 delivery, is announce all of these specifics on cars that people are going to order. How much will options cost, which model will be available when, etc… A lot of the people who lined up early are not buying base model cars. We will be optioning them out at least with a bigger battery and a few other features. We have already wrapped our heads around the fact that the car will cost about $50K when we are done. So, if you were to say… drop the price of the S75 to um… $60K, maybe just a special for those who placed an M3 reservation early, you’d probably see me walk away from my M3 and jump into an S75 instead. This would mean that my spot in line just got freed up for another M3 customer waiting, and we both bought Teslas.

    Just a thought.

    1. taser54 says:

      You may just count your blessings that your AWD is made later.

  6. Paul K says:

    Normally wide tires on small cars are a disaster in the snow (writing from Canada) but my 2016 Leaf equipped with winter tires has been awesome in even heavy wet snow. I think the weight of the car presses it more firmly into the snow so it grips like a snowmobile tread. Now I know the Leaf is FWD but I’ll bet the M3 will be fine with good winter tires and a driver who “gets” winter.

  7. M3 Reserved - Bolt/Niro TBD says:

    Most people figured out to drive in snow before FWD and AWD. Plenty of Cameros and Mustangs in the north and east without issues. heavy EVs should be fine if the driver doesn’t act like an idiot

  8. K A Cheah says:

    This might force many early reservation holders to skip turning their reservations into orders until after the AWD option is made available because TM3D will surely be more efficient in achieving higher Range on a single charge given the same Battery capacity in whatever Battery configuration.

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