Elon Musk On Tesla Model 3: Release Candidates Currently Being Built, Delivery Process Could Take Just 5 Minutes


Tesla Model 3

Yesterday, following Tesla’s funding announcement, the automaker held an investor-only conference call, which we’re just now getting some information flowing in from.

Tesla Model 3

According to an individual on the call, a few of the highlights relate to the Tesla Model 3.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated on the call that the “beta prototype” Model 3s that were being built starting a few weeks ago are actually referred to as “early release candidate” cars. Musk calls these “early release candidates” because they are essentially being built on production tooling and could almost pass for a production car.

A few other notes on these “release candidate” Model 3s via Electric Musk on Reddit:

  • show car -> alpha -> early release candidate
  • “we will be driving it in a week or 2”
  • entire car built with production tooling vs beta tooling, so higher precision.
  • quality of release candidate way better than for S and X
  • body panel gaps much better

In addition, Musk touched on the delivery process for the Model 3. According to Musk, delivery will be streamlined, with the entire process taking no more than 30 minutes. Some deliveries could happen in just 5 minutes.

Additional notes of delivery via Electric Musk on Reddit:

  • may open delivery centers end of year that do not have service
  • instruction videos on how to operate car sent by email
  • delivery could happen in 30 minutes instead of an hour

According to Musk, first Model 3 deliveries are still on track for July of this year. We hope to see the finished Model 3 in early June.

Source: Reddit, Tesla Motors Club Forum

Categories: Tesla

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68 Comments on "Elon Musk On Tesla Model 3: Release Candidates Currently Being Built, Delivery Process Could Take Just 5 Minutes"

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What if they delivered all Model 3s via autopilot straight to your home.

So we essentially never saw any of their mules, their Alphas they crash tested, their Betas built on Beta tools, and we have still yet to see any of their “early release candidate” Model 3’s built on their full production assembly line.

Haters will claim that means since no pics, that they don’t exist, and Tesla is just starting now to develop their car. This “no pics or it didn’t happen” theory seems silly at this point.

Where does Tesla do their cold weather testing? Extreme hot weather testing? Do they really do all this testing “in-house”? Then again, how do you do real world testing in a lab?

And if Elon is so confident the first (Founder’s edition) Model 3’s will be delivered in July, why does he keep mentioning that production can be affected by supplier issues?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“why does he keep mentioning that production can be affected by supplier issues?”

Bro, that applies to EVERY manufacturer.

I worked in manufacturing for quite a few years. Our parts suppliers were 90% the reason for line stoppage.

If it wasn’t them, it was because snow in the east stifled (froze?) delivery of parts.

Here’s Redditts exact quote:

“q on model 3 beta prototype – essentially eliminating beta because of advanced analytical techniques and going straight to release candidate

show car -> alpha -> early release candidate”

That’s confusing to me because my understanding is the an “early release candidate” is a beta car so how are beta cars eliminated.

Ignoring the semantics, this sounds like the way Boeing built the 777. The 777 was the first airplane that Boeing built that was built entirely on the computer in 3D before being built as a physical mock up allowing fewer iterations of the hardware.

So I’m not sure Tesla is saying they have built a lot cars and tested them in secret. I think they are saying they don’t need to build as many alpha test cars because it can all be done on the computer.

This is a good thing though. I think Tesla will come reasonably close to their release target.

Good find. What could possibly go wrong?


GM had the Bolt prod line up and running and vehicles were spotted 4 months before the first delivery.

We are now 4 months from Tesla’s stated delivery target in July and Tesla appears to have the line running so their July delivery target is still doable IMO.

However, first batch of prod parts are due in July, same month as promised first delivery. Some suppliers will be late so obviously the schedule is very tight.

The important thing is that it is getting done. We need Tesla to be successful in this endeavor. Tesla is really the only car company interested in making EV’s. The big 3 are just doing it because the mean old government is making them.

This batch of Model 3’s that Tesla is referring to as “early release candidates” is AT BEST analogous to Bolts that were spotted in December of 2015…and at worst the fleet of 100 Bolt produced in the spring of 2015 and seen testing in June/July 2015.

those bolts you are referring to were not made on GM’s prod line. So what we have here is a morphed version of GM’s IVER cars. A car built on the prod line but not built with prod deliverable parts which wont arrive till July.

GeorgeS – It’s true the Bolt’s GM built in 2015 were not built on the Orion assembly line. They were built on a special line which was much smaller and slower.

GM started Bolt pre-production on the Orion assembly line in March 2016. First customer deliveries were in December, a nine month lag.

The “release candidate” cars Tesla started building last month sound like they’re in-between the 2015 IVER Bolts and the March 2016 pre-production ones. Tesla is skipping over some steps relative to GM.

IMHO Tesla’s July Model 3s will essentially be pre-production units, but will be sold to employees and close personal friends willing to act as paying beta testers.

I agree. I think Tesla will use employees to test cars. Tesla lets the general public test their autopilot for them.

I don’t have a problem with that.

What could possibly go wrong with using a computer simulation for testing instead of building cars in intermediate stages of development? I realize of course that Sven’s question was rhetorical (not to mention sarcastic… not that I object to sarcasm when it has a point), but the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a good example… by which I mean a very bad example. For the Dreamliner, not only did Boeing have all the the design work done by computer, they foolishly allowed each supplier to use its own design process for making parts and sub-assemblies, so long as they all fit… in the computer. Boeing did not practice close oversight of the development of parts and sub-assemblies. The result was a disaster; many parts didn’t fit when assembly was attempted, and the entire project was delayed for years. The first deliveries were originally scheduled for late 2008, but didn’t actually occur until September 2011! (However, to be fair, it’s possible that some delays were not directly caused by Boeing’s failure to practice close oversight of supplier development.) Moral of the story: Using computer simulations for design and testing can certainly save money, and has the potential to save time, but it’s… Read more »

This reminds me of the movie “Aliens”. Remember this scene?

Ripley: How many drops is this for you, Lieutenant?
Gorman: 38. …Simulated.
Vasquez: How many combat drops?
Gorman: Uh… 2, including this one.
Drake: Ah, s#%t.

Potential Model 3 Customer: How many beta production vehicle miles, Elon?

Elon: 1 million…simulated.

Potential Model 3 Customer: How many beta production vehicle miles on actual public-roads in all-weather-conditions, Elon?

Elon: Uh…we drove around the Space-X facility a few times.

Potential Model 3 Customer: (select your expletive)

Double my order.

Keep in mind GM and every other major automaker designs their car virtually using very advanced 3D modeling and finite element analysis tools. While this saves a lot of development work it doesn’t catch or show everything. Extensive physical testing and real world driving is still very much so required to make a vehicle that meets the general public’s very high standards and to properly validate your math data.

Also to note the 777 that is manufactured today is actually quite a bit different from the first units that rolled off the line. The first 777’s that rolled off the line were actually considered to be not very good aircraft though today the 777 is a very successful aircraft. So it’s not a great analogy as aircraft are very specialized low volume manufacturing. I certainly hope the Model 3 is not developed in the same manner.

“That’s confusing to me because my understanding is the an ‘early release candidate’ is a beta car so how are beta cars eliminated.”

Yeah, it seems that auto makers — not just Tesla — have a lot of confusing terms for cars in different development stages between concept car and actual production car. A week or two ago, someone posted a list of the different terms GM uses for different stages of development. As I recall, there were 5 or 6 different labels.

When Tesla says “entire car built with production tooling” and “could almost pass for a production car”, that to me sounds like what I’ve seen described elsewhere as a “production prototype” or “pre-production unit”.

I don’t know why auto makers need to keep re-inventing the wheel here. What would help — not gonna happen, but it would help — is if they’d assign a numerical value to indicate development, with (for example) 0.1 being a concept car and 1.0 being the actual production car. If they could say “well, it’s at point five (or 50 percent) on the development scale”, that would mean a lot more to me than saying “it’s an alpha car”.

What Elon is calling Alphas were hand built prototypes. Alpha’s have been skipped, validation testing of Alpha’s has been skipped. Some possibility that drivetrain components were tested in mules that looked like Model S or on dynos. It should be clear that the timing between “pencils down” and these “Betas” is not sufficient to perform adequate validation testing, not to mention that there weren’t any vehicles available to perform the testing on. Validation should be performed on production-intent materials/tooling/processes, i.e. the whole package as it is intended to be delivered to the final customer. So are they going to perform real-world validation between now and July?

Good luck if you’re first in line for a Model 3. They should be paying YOU to Beta test their car.

You ARE aware who are the first customers, aren’t you.

“They should be paying YOU to Beta test their car.”

Yeah, Tesla should restrict the first Model 3 deliveries to their own employees.

Oh, wait… they already announced they’re doing that.

So we won’t see the production version until June now? :/

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

and first customer (non employee of Tesla/Space X) in August……..if we’re lucky.


When can people take delivery of a true $35k Model 3?

H2 2019 or later – if ever (and I’m being serious)

It’s amazing how Musk’s overoptimistic promises still are taken at face value.

Manned Mars flights before 2025? Anyone? Anyone?

when can we expect delivery of a $35000 M3 ? I firmly believe we can expect this on the 12th of NEVER!for sure*…However…It’s still a great Deal/Car even @ say $42,000 with a few options to make it nicer…LOOK @ THE half car the COMPETITION 0ffers @ say $37,500 , they make M3 Look like a Steal Plus YOU HAVE A CHARGING NETWORK IN PLACE. No Competitor has this make or break deal Advantage…I want mine in black..

The 12th of Never?..and that’s a long..long..time. Dating yourself.

Black? Remember, using AC drops your range.

“Manned Mars flights before 2025? Anyone? Anyone?” Dragon 2 with first Astronauts to fly to ISS set for May 2018. Falcon heavy maiden voyage to fly this year with 2 paying space tourists slated to fly with the Dragon 2 around the Moon for end of 2018. The Falcon 9 Heavy is then slated to fly a payload to Mars in 2020. Even if these get pushed a few years that gives 4 more years of deep space flight testing to work the bugs out. The first Falcon 9 flight was only 4 years ago in March 2013. Since then they have launched 26 successful flights. And for the first time in aerospace history they landed their first stage back on Earth. In all 10 of those flights included 1st stage recovery landings. It wouldn’t be unthinkable that in 5 or 6 years after the first Falcon Heavy flies to deep space and Mars that they will take a crack at possibly sending humans to Mars. It might be more like 2030 but that is pretty close to the original target when you are talking about flying to another planet. A hell of a lot quicker and closer to schedule… Read more »

Flying around the moon is one thing, going to Mars is quite another.
A manned mission to Mars?
It could happen by 2030

Yes but a bit like the difference between flying from London to Brussels versus from London to Sydney. You just sit longer and have some more meals. In fact it is even more similar for Earth Moon and Earth Mars because the difference in fuel consumption is less than what it is for the London Brussels and London Sydney flights. That is because contrary to aviation flight, in space covering great distances does not cost extra fuel, there is no drag on the ship so it goes on for free with no additional energy. The main thing is getting off Earth, giving the push to Moon or Mars and reducing speed to land on Moon or Mars. In between the engines are off with no fuel use at all. You just wait for time to pass eating meals or many more meals. A bit boring actually. Fortunately you can also watch movies, play games, watch the stars, sleep and perhaps make an eva or two around the ship on the go.

SpaceX has not yet developed, let alone tested, a manned rocket launch system. Much as I’m a fan of how SpaceX is reducing development costs, the requirements for safety on manned launch systems are significantly higher than for unmanned launches. SpaceX keeps having launch failures, which are perfectly acceptable if all they’re doing is test flights and launching supplies of consumables to the ISS space station. And much as I’m a fan of SpaceX, I think they need to demonstrate better reliability before we risk the lives of any astronauts to their rockets. Let’s remember that the goal of “alt-space” companies isn’t merely bringing down the launch cost; it’s to develop orbital launch systems which are as reliable as commercial airline flights. Sadly, we’re a long way away from that. Even if we accept an order of magnitude more danger — liquid fueled rockets are, by their nature, inherently unsafe, and modern airliners are exceptionally safe — we’re still a long way away from that goal. As for the planned mission to Mars, I don’t think that’s a realistic goal until we have developed improved space propulsion systems which can do the Earth-Mars transit in less than a month, rather… Read more »
Space x keeps on having failures but that is because they keep on testing new systems. In that case failures are rather inconclusive innovation experiments. It is still a failure but pretty much like an Olympic atlete not succeeding in improving the former world record. From what I know each failure occurred after a first time trial of something new on the rocket. An airliner is more secured because there is nothing new tested on each flight. Liquid cryogenic fuels are more exotic but they are just a cold liquid, so once it is routine, identical and repetitive, space flights will become very reliable too. Perhaps high speeds will still be less forgiving but on the other hand a typical space flight to orbit is a 20 minute flight instead of hours long for transcontinental airlines. Over to Mars flight, there are still risks like debris collision or indeed radiation but in Musk presentation he was speaking of a 3 mounts flight not 6, that is still a challenge but a half as big one. Robert Zubrin was actually critical of that speed because he thinks that 6 months is OK but Elon wants to win time likely for radiation… Read more »

Keep having failures?!? They’ve had 2, with about 30+ successful launches before and since, including 10 straight landings after the first 5 or 6 attempts at recovery failed.

During that time, Orbital and the Russians had at least one failure to launch, each.

Agree that it would be great if it never happened again, but it will, at some point, eventually, to everyone. I just hope that it is not a crewed launch.

Musk put the hype machine in overdrive right before Tesla’s 2015 stock offering during the August 2015 2Q conference when he not only updated the reservation number, but also put dollar figures on projected future sales. Musk stated that Tesla had received 100,000 “reservations” for Powerpacks and Powerwalls worth $1 billion. Musk then stated that Tesla grid battery sales could be $1.6-$1.8 billion for 2016 ($400-$450 million per quarter in 2016). Tesla’s 2016 fiscal year is over, and the financial reports have been released. Let’s see how well Musk predicted Tesla grid battery sales for 2016. Per the Tesla 10-K Annual Report for 2016, the Total Revenue from Energy Generation and Storage was only $181 million for the entire year, instead of the $1.6 to $1.8 Billion predicted Elon Musk. That’s a difference of a whopping $1.4 to $1.6 Billion!!! (Cue sad trombone: whah, whah, whah, whaaaahhhhhhh.) What happened to those 100,000 “reservations” Musk crowed about? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ From Forbes: “Musk said that Tesla has had 100,000 reservations (these are non-binding orders) for the Powerpacks and Powerwalls, which is worth $1 billion. Those orders could deliver $40 million to $45 million in grid battery sales for the fourth quarter of this… Read more »

“It’s amazing how Musk’s overoptimistic promises still are taken at face value.”

Strawman. 2x

Elon doesn’t make promises.

Nobody takes his expectations at face value. Especially in the case of his Mars adventures. Everybody, including Elon himself, knows the timelines are impossible. But setting an impossible goal is the only way to have any hope of actually achieving something.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I don’t think EM ever mentioned when the base model will be available…….lol

Just that the “Model 3″ will be delivered…..”

IIRC, base Model X’s were delivered over a year after the first X’s were delivered.

Model X was delayed while fixing falcon doors.

Here we have the “pump” half of the pump and dump cycle, where new stock and debt needs some sizzle to be sold to investors. Recall, in previous attempts to woo investors, we received such gems as, “Tesla could be the first trillion dollar company” and other over the top items. Elon normally gives us “stretched truth,” so when he pulls out all the stops, be extra skeptical. In particular, if you cannot release the car, it is not a release candidate.

Well, I see we have anti-Tesla FUD from some of the usual suspects: Sven, Four Electrics, and zzzzzzzzzz.

All here to tell us why Tesla Inc. will fail any day now, and why investors should PANIC AND SELL YOUR STOCKS AT FIRE SALE PRICES NOW!!

Funny thing, they keep regurgitating the same ol’ same ol’ B.S. every year, no matter what happens. It’s almost like they have no interest at all in facts or Truth. It’s almost like their purpose here isn’t even remotely related to useful discussion or sharing knowledge. 🙄

Pure “Truth” worshiper Pu-pu 😉
When I want religion, I go to church.
Pu-pu worships companies, batteries, sleazy part-time CEOs, cars, whatever. What kind of mind is it?

What is this weird term from software world, “release candidate”? Is EM going to release whole software Model 3, with over the air install to virtual driver’s phone or computer, or what?

How about using auto industry terms that have some meaning? Like producing N hundreds integration engineering cars for year long testing under all kinds of conditions, crash testing whole cars, not separate parts, launching pre-production line. Oh sorry, I forgot, all this is unnecessary for supercharged software release, you can always release anything and fix OTA later! It doesn’t affect the main pump & dump company business either 😉

I think the use of non-standard terms for describing test-phase Model 3s is on purpose….so people can’t draw parallels to traditional automakers and go “OK, they just built the first mules/pre-production units, so final production units should be X months away….”

Keep people in the dark till the end.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Just like Microsoft.
RC0, RC1, RC2…..RCn till RTM!

That is exactly how it should be. Production release should depend on the quality bar – not on how many iterations were done.

What’s the problem zzzzzzzzzz? It’s not like well known companies have ever delivered buggy software that constantly crashed.

Regardless of what testing is, or isn’t, done by Tesla in-house, the crash tests performed by NHTSA are performed on actual cars, not on mere parts of cars.

So while there certainly is a legitimate concern with manufacturers of complex machines like cars and airliners relying too much on computer simulations, and not enough on real-world testing, zzzzzzzzzzzz’s insinuation that there aren’t real crash tests being done on the Model 3 are just the latest upchuck in his endless regurgitation of anti-Tesla B.S.

B.S. is talking about crash testing when cars that can be crash tested do not exist except in imagination of fanboys drunk from Kool-Aid.

It is likely they crash tested separate parts, but nobody has seen whole cars that can be tested.

Investors are pumping and dumping the stock, not Musk.

Lmfao, the serial shorters nuts are getting squeezed by their shorts!

Keep up your pathetic trolling 4E & zzzzz, you have NO effect here or in the market but keep whining.

True. Going up from $243-$263 in a few days, is very unpleasant, especially when, people were thinking it would fall. Shorts are taking it in the shorts.

Also Tesla’s latest offering was
over-prescribed. They raised more moneys than they planned too.

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

I told him the’re all happy their each Laddie and Colleen, for there’s no longer any law, ‘gainst wearin’ of the Green!

“Tesla’s latest offering was
over-prescribed. They raised more moneys than they planned too.”

Isn’t that usually, or perhaps always, the case?

I’m sure there are people out there who are quietly making money by well-timed buying and selling of Tesla “short” positions. But I rather suspect that none of those who constantly post anti-Tesla FUD to Internet forums are among them. If they’re making money, then why are they wasting so much of their time whining about Tesla on the Internet, even when the stock price is going up and they should be hoping it will go even higher, to give them an opportunity to buy into a new “short” position”?

It seems that our “usual suspect” FUDsters are not only trolls, they’re also losers!

I don’t understand why some hate Tesla it’s an American Company employing thousands of America’s and exporting cars to a number of countries. This should make everyone rooting for Musk.

It’s the EV thing that has unfortunately become politically polarized. Not all conservative leaning people feel this way especially the ones that are knowledgeable about EVs.

But let’s face it, most Americans know very little or nothing about EVs and just think they are some liberal environmental creation that is stupid because it runs on coal. That’s what they are told so that’s what they believe.

You can bet that if Tesla was an American startup making a $35,000 ICE muscle car or large truck that could beat GM and Ford at their own game these same haters would be Musk’s biggest fan.

I agree they complain that Tesla received a $465,000 loan from the government Created in 2007 called the Advanced Technologies Processing Manufacturing Program. Then paid the loan off ahead of time.
They never mention the 5.9 billion that Ford received under the same program. I’m not sure if that loan has been paided off.
Also they call GM Government Motors for accepting or needing money caused by Wall Street greed and crooks.

Sorry Tesla haters will point out my mistake I meant 465 million

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Tesla is different.
Some people don’t like ~Different~.

Just look at how NADA keeps trying to push Tesla out because their sales model is ~Different~.

I agree with you, Tesla should get the cheers and praise, but here, in the internet, everyone has an opinion just like everyone has a has a sphincter. 😛

“. . . but here, in the internet, everyone has an opinion just like everyone has a has a sphincter, and they all stink. ?”

There, I fixed it for you.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


Especially Sean Sphincter’s opinions. =D

“I don’t understand why some hate Tesla…”

Some on the “hard right” have political reasons to hate everything seen as “green” tech. That’s why during a presidential debate, Mitt Romney stupidly called Tesla one of “Obama’s losers”.

But there are others with an even bigger motive: Greed. Shills for Big Oil and for legacy auto dealerships see Tesla as a threat to the survival of their industry — and probably rightly so!

And it’s very obvious there are an astounding number of serial Tesla bashers who post almost daily to support a “short” investment in Tesla stock. Don’t believe me? Just go over to Seeking Alpha and do a search on “Tesla”. But be prepared to wade through a sewer if you do so!

Some of those same names seen on that forum (“tftf”, Mark B. Spiegel, Dr. ValueSeeker) are also seen posting here on a semi-regular basis. Coincidence? I think not!

I could take delivery in 5 to 6 minutes if I have a chance to test drive a similarly equipped Tesla Model 3 in advance.

From the Reddit call notes: “I think EM said S transitions to 2170 by year end.”

This is consistent with what I’ve been saying about Tesla’s 18650 contract running out in the second half of the year. This is one of those areas where the Model 3 is actually ahead of the Model S/X. The new battery packs will likely be rolled out with Tesla’s new clean sheet inverter they developed a year ago for the TM3. They are more efficient than previous inverters that Tesla built with off the shelf parts.

Stupid phrase – ‘early release candidates’.

I’d call the pre-production cars. Built to production intent specs, on the production line, but not production cars because they are not made fully from production parts.

I’m still skeptical. I see real customer deliveries in real quantities no earlier than Q2 2018. And the transaction price won’t be $35k. More like $50k.

I am actually glad I will not be getting my M3 after at least 100k of them are made. I love Tesla, but I also love a car with as few kinks as possible.