There Will Be A Drivable Tesla Model 3 At March 31 Unveiling


Bloomberg is reporting that Tesla will have a drivable Model 3 (probably several) on hand at the March 31 reveal of Tesla’s newest electric car.

Per Bloomberg:

“Tesla is preparing to unveil its $35,000 Model 3 electric car on March 31, and today it revealed a few key details in invitations sent to owners and the media.
First and foremost: There will be a working prototype on site. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk previously indicated he might not show the full car, which isn’t expected to go on sale until 2017 at the earliest. A drivable version at the event might indicate the company is further along than some investors thought.”

Additionally, we’ve learned that all attendees will get a chance to ride in the Model 3. Rides will be booked according to arrival time and check in at the event.

Source: Bloomberg

Category: Tesla


71 responses to "There Will Be A Drivable Tesla Model 3 At March 31 Unveiling"
  1. evcarnut says:

    If that’s a fact ., they’ve done a good job keeping tight lipped….But I think I know which one is the model 3 ., it’s the brown clay model seen in previous photos ((side view)) that has a model”S” family resemblance..”not bad”..If I am guessing correctly….I’m In on that!

    1. TomArt says:

      That’s my assumption, as well.

      1. Brandon says:

        Yeah!! That has been my pick too. We’ll see..!!!

        1. kensiko says:

          Where is that picture ?

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


            Mind you, I’m not buying that this is the clay model of the Model ≡. But that’s what they are talking about.

  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    It’ll be a drivable prototype. No big deal.Still, some people will go nuts about it as some kind of sign that development is well advanced.

    1. Mark B Spiegel says:

      Yes, to put this in perspective Tesla gave rides in its Model S prototype in April 2009, a full 3.5 years before the car was in real production.

      Additionally, the Tesla 10-K out just last month says: “We have not yet finalized the design, engineering or material and component sourcing plans for Model 3.”

      Finally, the company has made it clear that fully optioned models will get first priority.

      Conclusion: those hoping to buy a Model 3 for under $45,000 will be lucky to see it by 2019, if it ever exists at ALL. And by then there will be lots of alternatives available.

      1. Rick Danger says:

        No worries Spiegel, Musk wouldn’t sell you one anyway.

        1. jamcl3 says:

          Now be nice…

      2. ffbj says:

        I don’t put a lot of stock into your prognostications on Tesla. I think you are a bit short-sighted in that regard.

        Though non-owners and low ball configurations will have to back of the line, they will eventually get one.

        1. Mark C says:

          Not trying to be a naysayer, but don’t bet the farm on getting a sub-$45k Model 3. If the demand isn’t there…

          The Model S was released on paper to have a base Model S 40 that was discontinued before seeing the light of day {I don’t think any 40’s sold}. If Musk decides the demand isn’t enough for a “base” Model 3, it may not happen the way we think it will.

          Which will be a drag for me, because at $35,000 the Model 3 is already near the top of my budget. And $45,000 just isn’t happening for me.

          1. TomArt says:

            Some did sell, but they were 60kWh packs that were software-limited to perform like an S40 (the full capacity could be unlocked for a fee anytime down the road).

            Tesla cannot afford to do that with the Model III. They promised $35k, and as it is, everything but the tires will have to be optional to get 200+ miles EPA range at that price. 😉

            The only way base models will be delivered as late as 2019 is if production doesn’t start until 2018. I cannot imagine that the company will screw over new buyers that badly.

            The reasonable assumption is that they will alternate builds for efficiency, just like they always have with Model S.

          2. Someone out there says:

            They have been promising the $35k price point for ages, they cannot back out now. Also, with the GM Bolt coming at $37500, not being able to match that would reflect very badly on Tesla.

      3. EV Driver says:


        We all know that your short position on Tesla would be threatened if there is not a major delay in Model 3 production, so the possibility of a drivable prototype must be very scary for you.

        Thanks for your input, though, troll.

      4. Rick says:

        Yea ok bud.

      5. David Murray says:

        Yeah, but let’s be fair. Back in 2009 they were still trying to get a factory ready.

        1. alain says:

          they will be pumping these off line so fast once they have everthing in place and after two model launch the experience is in the playing field ,so a lot less guess work.

    2. Paul says:

      No, it will be made of liquid metal and will change shape depending on the speed you are going. VTOL and time dilation are also good bets. So fast that you will arrive at your destination younger than when you left, and available in 3 colors.

  3. Mister G says:

    Insideevs…get in there and get some pics…get it done. CARPE DIEM

  4. kdawg says:

    This is good news. If it has just been a clay model that would have been bad, even worse if it was just CGI renderings.

    1. ffbj says:

      Maybe it’s a driveable clay model.

      1. kdawg says:

        A hole in the floor so you can scoot around Fred Flintstone style.

      2. I RODE in coin-operated cars inside the malls when I was a toddler. The rides were FUN!

    2. GeorgeS says:

      Yep pretty interesting. This is great news. How many days in a row can Jay stay up on the 31st? Shhh be quiet. He’s taking a nap and resting up.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        …its funny because it isn’t far from the truth.

        I often pull the “until 2-3am” shift of our hours here (which is why we always have live coverage and whatnot of these Tesla events that generally run late into the wee hours of the morning).

        Its pretty common for me to be unconscious during the next morning when others in NA are working. So if anyone is bored at 1am tonight and want to talk EVs, shoot me an email, lol…its not often an entirely exciting time – and all the press is in/has to be translated from Asia, (=

        1. GeorgeS says:

          I know it’s the truth. Hopefully others appreciate the fact that you are burning the midnight oil so we get our fix on time 🙂

          1. sven says:

            What makes you think Jay still uses an oil lamp and not energy efficient LED lighting powered by Ontario’s clean electric grid. 😉

        2. M. St.John says:

          Jay, have you seen the settlement with Nissan on the 2011-2012 Leafs. Also, I got an offer to buy a new 2015 Leaf for $18,500 (approx). Nissan now agreed to REPLACE with a new battery any 2011-2012 that goes below 9 bars

  5. Rick Danger says:

    With a driveable model at the reveal, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 100,000 reservations by the end of the first week.

    “Whatcha gonna do? When Model ≡ runs wild on YOU?”

    1. GeorgeS says:

      100,000 wouldn’t surprise me.

      1. PVH says:

        Let’s hope it will be much more than 100,000. It would be a good kick in the butt to traditional makers. They need it for their own good.

    2. Alaa says:

      That 100,000 reservations will come from the US alone. I suspect a million world wide.
      At any rate it will be between 750,000 and 1 million. This translates to an increase to the bank account of Tesla of 0.75 to 1 TRILLION dollars in less that 1 month if not shorter.

      1. Alaa says:

        I forgot to ask

        Does anyone know what will happen to the demand as we get closer to the delivery date?

        I suspect that demand will increase dramatically after the delivery date, but I am interested in a the curve of demand as we get closer to the delivery date

      2. s says:

        You got a little carried away there. It’s one Billion, not trillion. Assuming 1 million reservations, of course, which may happen, but maybe not this year.

        1. Alaa says:

          Thank you and I am sorry. At any rate it is a lot of interest free money, and I am sure that it will be used in the most efficient way.

          1. Yes, Alaa. Pour in your deposits! They will be used to vest MY (oops, Elon’s) humongous option grants.

      3. scott franco says:

        Back to math class!

      4. wavelet says:

        I think the 100K by end of 1st week is very optimistic, but for the sake of argument let’s say you’re right.
        What are basing that 1M worldwide on? That’s a 10x factor. So far, the US is ~50% of Tesla’s market.
        Teslas are sold in very few countries far, and the coverage it receives in the US is wildly disproportional. The vast majority of car buyers worldwide have never heard of the company, let alone the Model 3. The concept of depositing money up front for a car ~2+ years before they’ll be able to take possession (and when the car’s design and specs are not finalized — that’s what Tesla has said in its SEC reports, where they csn’t really lie) is ludicrous for mainstream carbuyers.

        1. cmg186 says:


          When I ask people about the March 31st reveal, 50% of the people I ask don’t know about it, and the other 50% don’t know what a Model 3 is.

        2. Alaa says:

          I think that a lot of people around the world can afford not only the $35,000 but most certainly the $1000. So that is why I think that Tesla will get a million reservations.

          1. sven says:

            How much of the Tesla Kool-Aid did you drink? 😉

            I personally think 750K to 1 million is magnitudes too high, but at the same time I also hope you’re right.

            1. Alaa says:

              I drink from the river Nile.

              1. Mxs says:

                Your numbers are showing it … Stop drinking the crappy water. May I recommend a quality beer?

                1. ffbj says:

                  He probably does not consume alcohol. It could be something he smokes. Those Egyptian cigarettes with just a touch of latikia, for body. Yep 1 million seems high, though I said that myself, but I was probably in altered state consciousness att.

        3. Gerhard Hauer says:

          OK, here’s why I *think* about making a reservation:

          1. It is only 1000 EUR.
          2. It gives me an early production slot.
          3. It is fully refundably.
          4. With the current interest rates I do not care if I get 0.5% or 0.0% for this 1000,-.

          1. Alaa says:

            I suspect that if you change your mind you might be able to sell your reservation and make money!

            1. wavelet says:

              Don’t you _ever_ bother to check anything before you post?
              Tesla reservations haven’t been transferable for the S/X; I really doubt the 3 will be different.
              Of course, you could physically buy the car itself and gamble on being able to sell it onwards, but I doubt there’ll be many doing that. It’s rather expensive for that.

              1. sven says:

                You’d also have to hold it for 6 months before selling to get the Federal Tax Credit.

        4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          wavelet said:

          “I think the 100K by end of 1st week is very optimistic, but for the sake of argument let’s say you’re right.
          What are basing that 1M worldwide on? That’s a 10x factor.”


          An article from June 2015 reports over 24,000 Model X reservations, which the article claims is twice as many as the Model S had before it went into production (source below).

          If we assume 10x as many reservations for the Model ≡ as the MX, that would be 240,000. That might be possible, but I just can’t see a million people putting down $1000 for the privilege of waiting 2+ years to buy a car.

          And would Tesla’s website even be able to handle the volume of 100,000 people reserving a M≡ in a week? That’s an average of over 14,000 per day.

          Well, we’ll see. But my guess is that reservations will max out at 200,000 or less, and that 50,000 reservations in the first week after the Reveal is overly optimistic. I don’t think I’m sticking my neck out at all on those numbers, either.

          Speaking as a Tesla fan, I’d be very happy to be proven wrong. 🙂


      5. Dude, get a grip! 50k-100k worldwide tops.

        1. Lou says:

          50K to 100K people who WANT a Model 3, yes. But nowhere near that amount of people will actually put down $1,000. Better said, it will take a while for those kinds of numbers to happen, certainly I don’t see it in week 1. Hope I am wrong, as the capital has to be good for TMC. But how many Teslas worldwide are actually out there today? Lots of people know of Tesla, but that’s a far cry from parting with your hard earned cash to buy a car 2 years from now.

    3. Dan says:

      You realize that is 4 times the number of cars Tesla sold last year, right? Actual cars you can touch and feel in stores, not vaporware.

      To put it in perspective, you are saying that more people will put down money on a non-existent car in 1 week than bought BMWs, Audis, Lexuses, and Infinitis together in an entire month.

      I’m just trying to wrap my head around the logic.

      1. Alaa says:

        I am glad you brought this up. Tesla produced twice as much as the cumulative total year on year. This year, 2016 they will make cars that is equal to the cumulative of what they did! So even though I got carried away earlier, if this trend continues then in 2017 they will make about 85000*2=170,000. Then we repeat that for 2018 and so forth then they will make more than a million before 2020.

        1. wavelet says:

          What are you smoking? Teslas’ goal/hope is to eb making 500K cars/year by 2020, or 10x growth in 5 years. As it is, no other vehicle company (or as far as I know, any large, expensive heavy-industry product) has ever had this kind of growth, ever (possibly except WW2 military vehicles), so it’s a very aggressive target.
          Now you’re saying they’ll achieve 20x growth before then?? (not no mention, you don’t know how to multiply by 2. Eevn if they do manage 2x every year, they won’t reach 1M before 2020).

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Tesla produced twice as much as the cumulative total year on year. This year, 2016 they will make cars that is equal to the cumulative of what they did!”

          To say the least, your math is significantly off.

          Tesla has been achieving an impressive 45-50% year-on-year growth rate. They plan for a more aggressive expansion this year (50,580 –> 80-90k), and ramping up to 500k cars by 2020 will be an even more impressive growth rate, if they can actually achieve that. That’s about a 58% growth rate, cumulative, per year!

          But certainly Tesla isn’t building its cumulative previous total in any given year, let alone twice that! Nor is it going to.

  6. Tummy says:

    If you’re not one of the early reservation holders, there is a chance the Fed tax incentive will be gone. That will have a bigger impact on sales than with the Model S I would think.

    1. ffbj says:

      True, and I think many people will do a high end configuration in order to get that tax incentive. Of course if you already own a Tesla your chances are increased.

      I wonder, how each point is weighted? Overall price vs current ownership. So say you ordered one with all the bells and whistles, but you don’t own one vs base model with zero added, (unlikely but for case comparison) who would get the car first?
      So if it’s on a dollar scale how much is being owner worth?

      1. TomArt says:

        hmmm…as a potential buyer myself, I’m not concerned with any of those things. I will buy a Tesla because it is a Tesla: best performing vehicle in its class and at its price. The emissions-free driving, the quality of the drive (silent, handling) and the overall benefits, both tangible and intangible, are all that concern me. 1 year or 3 years’ wait; tax credit or no tax credit; are immaterial.

        1. Stimpacker says:

          Thank goodness for die-hard early adopters. They pave the way for the rest of us.

          I will get my Tesla when after the production kinks have been worked out. Learned the hard way never to buy any vehicle from the 1st year of production.

          O yea, tax credit matters. If there is an alternative to the Model III that is $7500 cheaper (or more), I will take it. Not the Chevy Bolt though – CCS is a deal breaker.

          1. jamcl3 says:

            Interesting, why is CCS a deal breaker? OK, it is ugly but so am I. (Not that I disagree with your anti-CCS position, I am just wondering what your rationale is?)

            Now Chademo, that thing is pretty silly but until my arthritis gets worse I could live with it. I just really could not live with a gas nozzle.

            1. stimpacker says:

              In Northern CA, you can find a few rare CCS stations by Bel Air stores. That won’t allow me to do any long distance driving.

          2. ffbj says:

            I am with you on that. No hurry to get one.

        2. ffbj says:

          It does not matter to me either, so we are in agreement. I was just speculating and wondering and trying to answer the question that was asked. Like you, I will get one since it is a Tesla, and I think it will be great.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Counting up while counting down to the Model ≡ Reveal:

    I count this as the #5 article directly related to the “reveal” on InsideEVs, since I started counting.

    1. TomArt says:

      I lost track – thanks for keeping up! 🙂

  8. Rick Bronson says:

    7 days to go and the thrill builds up.

    We are expecting Tesla to have a smaller battery (around 50K) and yet have 200 mile range because of the superior architecture and dual motor.

    1. wavelet says:

      Tesla has already said it’ll be a 2WD car (at least the basic model), so one motor.
      And what superior architecture, exactly? Fairy dust & angels?
      Since it’ll be a mid-size car, it’ll be larger and heavier than the Bolt, unless they use really exotic and expensive materials.
      The major challenge is going to be making it cheaper than GM’s cost for the bolt… You have to reduce costs and cut features for this.
      As it is, I doubt they can reach 200mi AER with only 60kWh nominal.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        wavelet said:

        “And what superior architecture, exactly? Fairy dust & angels?”

        Hmmm, well I expect the Model ≡ to have superior streamlining (lower coefficient of drag) than the Bolt, but partly by sacrificing rear seat headroom.

        That said, I certainly don’t expect the Model ≡ to have much less than a 60 kWh battery pack. In the past I estimated 45-50 kWh, but that was before GM set the bar so high with promising ~208 mile EPA range. I expect Tesla to match or exceed that range, so I’m now guessing at least 55 kWh, and perhaps slightly more.

        1. TomArt says:

          That is an interesting conundrum…a 360 (ha – model 3 60kWh) would be very close to the S70 (230mi) and S70D (240mi), each with 0-60 times of 5.5 and 5.2 seconds, respectively. A 20% smaller car, but not 20% lighter due to steel body instead of aluminum, with a comparable Cd and a 60kWh pack would come out probably almost the same performance. So, at half the price, Musk can justify dumping the S70 entirely to streamline manufacturing, and make a lot of the features available as upgrade packages in the Model 3.

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The article says:

    “Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk previously indicated he might not show the full car…”

    If that’s true, then my guess is that this was a strategy to lower expectations, so they could raise the excitement level when Tesla “revealed” that it would be showing an actual functional prototype after all.

    And it’s working. Tesla has become very adept at manipulating media coverage for maximum free advertising value!

  10. Garrity says:

    To my knowledge, Tesla has not directly said that there will be a drivable 3 at the reveal.

    What are the chances that Mr. Musk will start the show with just pictures or a really cool golly gee cgi film of the Model 3…. Then drive out a working Model 3

    If they are having people sign up as they arrive for a test drive then no way can they keep that a secret. It would be a huge deal If they have enough mules to give everyone at the event a test ride in a timely manner.

    My guess at reservations within 24 hours min 30,000. end of the week at least 40,000. Would not surprise me if it went much higher, especially if attendees get to drive the real deal and start posting their impressions.

    There are close to 20,000 Tesla and Space X employees who get first crack at it, and who knows how many Sub 100 mile Ev leasees who come off lease in 2018-2019 who have been infected by the Ev fever.