What Does The Tesla Model 3 Reveal About Our Automotive Future?

AUG 29 2018 BY EVANNEX 41


Many automotive journalists have taken a liking to the Model 3. But Sam Smith (via Road and Track) ponders what Tesla’s lower-priced, electric vehicle says about the future of automobiles. Could this car represent a turning point for the auto industry? In a broader sense, could the Model 3 challenge the reign of the internal combustion engine? To start, Smith writes that, “The Tesla isn’t perfect, but it’s undeniably a milestone… I was reminded of a Sixties Mini, in terms of democratization of a form factor. And ideas around which others pivot.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: A look at the Tesla Model 3 (Image: CleanTechnica)

Smith explains that the Model 3 isn’t a “commuter penalty box” like other EV efforts from legacy automakers. Instead, he says, “The Model 3 looks like a stylish, adult device. More than half a million people put down a deposit to buy one… [In contrast] the Bolt looks like a cartoon beaver that ate too many doughnuts, and it isn’t exactly flying off lots. I’m told the Chevy drives well, but to paraphrase Coco Chanel, it’s a lot easier to sell pretty than it is to sell Good Lord, Helen, Why Did You Wear That?”

And it’s not just the Model 3’s good looks that make it stand out. The silent, ninja-like performance reminds Smith that the Model 3 EV might foreshadow the future. So much so, he has to reconsider the internal combustion engine itself. He questions “the collective grumble of thousands of dirty little explosions, exhausting under nearby bumpers. If you possess an ounce of logic, you think, Hell, what are we doing? Digging up large bits of the planet just to burn them? Pipes pumping stinko gases into the air? Who thought this madness was sustainable?”

Above: Discussing the Tesla Model 3 after a test drive (Youtube: Miami Herald)

Perhaps, “the automobile as we know it will go the way of horses.” Smith says, “this is the thing with the Model 3… Good EVs prompt this stuff, because they work like ordinary cars, no excuses or caveats. Your brain moves from the singular product to the situational long tail.” The novelist Warren Ellis once said, “the future sneaks up on us, in the fringes of daily life.” Smith says this kind of impact is much “like the Model 3” and its surprising emergence in the automotive world.

Sure, Smith acknowledges a few Model 3 panel gaps and growing pains with production, “but the car was still impressive… Even with issues of quality and company, the car is enough of a solved question to make you look at the calendar. It’s a lens into a world where cars like it take over. It feels real, and it makes you feel sheepish for a want, however small, to hold on to the old.”


Source: Road and Track

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.


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2. Tesla Model 3
Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.) Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.


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41 Comments on "What Does The Tesla Model 3 Reveal About Our Automotive Future?"

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The BMW i3 is one of those “penalty boxes” and yet, it drives so smoothly, quietly, and swiftly that you get over the looks. It’s a pleasure to drive. But of course, a more handsome car would be better.

And yes, after a while you start to look around and realize the old solution, which was perfectly adequate, was really junk.

Agree it is a pleasure to drive (within the city). That is the only good thing I can say about it.
From any other aspect, the experience is sub-par compared to a typical ICE car.

As a result, using it to say that it is the automotive future will get you laughed off the room.

I am not jumping excitedly at this article but I can agree that the TM3 can be the automotive future but if and only if the price is lowered. As tested today, it is well over $50K.

The i3 does very well on the highway….

I drove an i3 for 2 years and completely disagree. The highway experience is ok at lower speeds but going 75 or 80mph is not that great. The tires are simply too narrow. Another downside is that the faster you go, the quicker the battery is drained – although that would be true for all electric cars.

1) Try the 2018 i3s ( Sport ), wider tiers front and rear. 2) The 2017’s have wider rear tires, and they have no stability issues. But, I do agree the early ones, 2014, were heavily optimized for efficiency, because their range was more limited. As BMW increases the battery capacity they’ve been improving the handling. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2019’s get wider front and rear tires along with the battery capacity jump. I just came home, on the highway, from vacation. But, I wasn’t in a race mood, wanted to extend my vacation with a relaxed highway ride and set the cruise control to 67. And it was a pleasure to have Sirius Radio on “Yacht Rock” and enjoy the excellent ride. And with no engine, there’s no engine noise ever, and you really notice that suddenly you can hear mid-range and lower-mid-range, you’ve never heard in a car before. Now, if you set the cruise control higher 68+, the car gets more aggressive, jumping at the chance to sprint up rising hills. Also the road noise does increase a bit too. So, yes the car isn’t optimized for higher speed highway cruising. I’ve been leasing one… Read more »

I have a 2015 i3 and I absolutely love it. You need to fit the demographics that the car was designed for (short suburban/urban commuting), but then it is close to perfect. I actually like the looks of it; I’ve found it grows on you. The CFRP body is unbelievably rigid; something you can feel when you drive it. I think the majority of people that complain about the car don’t own one.

If Tesla gets on better financial footing in the years ahead (and the vehicles turn out to hold up long-term), I’ll definitely consider one of their cars in the future. But for the moment, am very happy with the i3. I think you’ll find most owners of the car agree with me.

Lots of Teslas over 250K miles, what you mean with hold long term? The i3 has to show yet how good of a car it’s , just because it. Has the BMW badge doesn’t mean it will hold long term.

My wife and I test drove a i3 at a BMW driving event in Pasadena, its an ok car, but no way would I purchase one. Small, ugly, no fast charging infrastructure, displays are tiny, not enough range. Got a model 3 in January and love it. Having over 300 miles of range for $39K after incentives is a game changer. It’s a really solid car.

Nothing wrong with the Model 3, but, I doubt you actually drove an i3.

One time I got stuck in traffic behind an i3 during a morning commute. As I approached the car, I saw the owner trying to pour gasoline into the car as it apparently ran out of gas. That image is still stuck in my mind.

Regardless of how great the i3 is, it’s still an ICE car – a no deal for me.

You do realize that there are two versions of i3 and one of them is fully electric.

Both of them are fully annoying.

I actually drove an i3 twice. Once at the BMW drive event at the Rose Bowl and once at the LA Auto show. The LA Auto Show had around 50 i3’s to drive. The Rose Bowl event had you drive around the parking lot in a little course and included a little drag strip. They also had other BMW’s there.

Yes, we test drove an i3 earlier this year. Not good at all for a family with two older kids. They fit great in the Model 3 (actual rear windows that open/close, doors that don’t need the front passenger to help them out, etc.)

Someone with some brains should design a Retro EV to resemble a Porsche 356 B.
That would sell like Tesla’s.


Yeah, it’s Ragnarock for the ICE, no great insight there, though it will take a while.


At the 45k or 50k price point, no doubt the Model 3 is a nice car.

Not so sure that’s where the entire industry is headed though. In that context this article almost seems nonsensical. Not bashing, just sayin’

US market still needs decent range 25K

Hyundai Ioniq Electric starts at $29,500 so starting at $22k after tax incentive. 124 EPA range is decent. We got along fine with our Smart ED 60 mile range for a few years before getting our Teslas.

I agree. The US market already has a cheap good ev in the Ionic….or kinda has it since it’s not really available.

Leaf, Ioniq, VW E, Ford Focus, Kia Sol EV …

Go thru a buying service, and check your local BMW dealer. Many give you a good discount off list, and with a lease BMW finance takes the Federal Tax Credit off the lease. A $55,000 car can get a lease price of $40,000 or lower, and better in California.

Why would anyone ever buy that obsolete BMW when there is the model 3 and from a non offender company like BMW!!!?

Yes, a $25k car with 200 mile range would sell well.

I so love reading pronouncements from people who are just now figuring out why ICE vehicles are dinosaurs. It’s like watching your nephew sound out words as he’s learning to read, and then seeing him beam with pride when he gets it.

This article is yet another example of the thing I keep hammering on: The education of the non-plugheads, and in particular getting them to realize that (gasp!) EVs are not just “real cars”, but in most cases “better cars”.

I guess we should be at least somewhat happy that there’s a learning curve. If 90% of car buyers became EV-enlightened overnight, it would be market chaos with dealers marking up vehicles, manufacturers (of cars, batteries, and all EV-specific parts) scrambling to ramp up production, etc.

Good point.
If everyone was an early adaptor these cars would be uneconomic.

But, now the BMW i3, even with a lease, will save you 6 lease payments from gas savings, on a 10,000 mile a year lease. Now is a good time to lease and enjoy the future.

I have a used Ford Focus EV that I’ve been driving for a few years. Despite its shortcomings, it served me well as a commuter car with HOV privilege. After 2 months with a RWD Model 3 (wife’s car), I no longer find the Focus EV acceptable. Even a Porsche now seems very inadequate and antiquated. I am waiting impatiently for my own Model 3 which is due out in about a month.

The Model 3 has changed everything about cars and driving.

Yes, a compelling, long-range EV with an equally compelling system of DCFC is a game-changer and really represents a paradigm-shift.

I have an Tesla S and Ford Focus electric – I still like my Ford. I am tired of people bashing those great cars. Reliable, peppy, inexpensive. It does everything I need it to do. That being said – yes the 3 will be it’s replacement.

You don’t need to look at the Model 3 to know the future is electric.

From the Road And Track original source article:

“…Tesla Model 3… Good EVs prompt this stuff, because they work like ordinary cars, no excuses or caveats. Your brain moves from the singular product to the situational long tail. Say, for example, that the gasoline-powered car becomes so uncommon that its infrastructure withers. Gas stations grow rare…”

Road And Track openly contemplating Tesla Model 3 a pivot point towards a post ICE automotive landscape.

Just so happens:

“Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”:

Finally, Tesla proves that creating a compelling electric car matters. TM3 changed my perspective on all other cars, I cannot imagine going back to any ICE vehicle.

Maybe I can start reading R and T again after decades of faithful subsciptions I ultimately grew tired of their refusal to acknowledge the future and give EVs their true cred. I am a car nut through and through but ICE cars no longer interest me. Where is an enthusiast’s EV mag?

InsideEV’s provides the most information on EV’s only difference is its a website not an old fashion magazine. Why cut trees down to produce magazines.

The future is riding in a self driving pods while getting frisky with your significant other at any time…

The trolls that are so against Tesla are really against all Electric Vehicles. Tesla is the number one enemy of these trolls, because there the most successful EV maker and working to slow or halt climate change. Read the attached link. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/in-americas-hottest-drilling-spot-vast-volumes-of-gas-go-up-in-smoke/ar-BBMAUKR?ocid=spartandhp I’m hoping the link works you can find in in MSN though. Oil companies in the Permian Basin are flaring off 10% of the natural gas from there wells enough natural gas to heat all the homes in a state like Montana or New Hampshire. The problem the oil companies say is they don’t have the infrastructure in place to transport the natural gas that’s extracted with the oil. Wouldn’t it make sense to begin actual production at the well after the infrastructure was in place Texas has a law that requires oil companies to flare off no more than 2% of the natural gas. Oil companies however get waivers from government officials to allow them to flare off more. Where’s the EPA with Trump in office there doing exactly what he wants. Taxpayer dollars paid for the research over 30 years that allowed oil and natural gas to be extracted, but to waste a natural resource and… Read more »

I finally gave up my Tesla model three reservation after waiting more than two years. It was something about being charged $2000 to order the car in white that finally broke my spirit. The interior didn’t wow me, I wanted a hatchback, and even my good friend with a model 3 is frustrated by some of the silly oddities of the single screen. So, after turning in my wife’s leased I3, we bought a fully loaded 2016 I3 REX. It cost us $26,000, we saved $32,000 over the model three, and hey! It even came in white!

See you at the gas station.

We drove our first i3 Rex for two years. We used exactly 3/4s of one gallon of gas. You’ll be waiting a long time.

Model 3 is the ‘best’ car I’ve ever owned … bar none … including my ’69 Cougar 390 cube high performance, and ’91 Trans Am with Tuned Port FI. Bonus, the slightly higher monthly payments are offset by the much lower operating costs (no gasoline or oil changes).

“If you possess an ounce of logic, you think, Hell, what are we doing? Digging up large bits of the planet just to burn them? Pipes pumping stinko gases into the air? Who thought this madness was sustainable?””

*mic drop*