Within a week of unveiling the Model 3 in 2016, Tesla revealed they had taken 325,000 reservations for the car. These reservations represented potential sales of over US$14 billion. By August 2017, there were 455,000 net reservations. Limited production of the Model 3 began in mid-2017, with the first production vehicle rolling off the assembly line on July 7, 2017, with the official launch and delivery of the first 30 cars on July 28. On July 1, 2018, it was announced that Tesla had met its production goal of 5,000 cars in a week.
Total deliveries passed the 100,000-unit milestone in October 2018, and cumulative sales since inception totaled about 198,700 units up to March 2019. The Model 3 topped global sales of plug-in electric cars in 2018, and also listed as the top-selling plug-in passenger car in the U.S. and California. In February 2019, the Model 3 passed the Chevrolet Volt to become the all-time best-selling plug-in electric car in the U.S.
In an interview for Wired Science recorded during 2006 Musk presented the Model 3 as likely being affordable by most people able to purchase new cars. In 2008 the car was stated to be a family car. In 2017 Tesla added that the Standard Range version of the all-electric car would have an estimated EPA-rated range of 220 miles (354 km), a five-passenger seating capacity, front and rear trunks, and promised sports-car levels of acceleration performance.[better source needed] Tesla said it would have a 5-Star safety rating and have a drag coefficient of Cd=0.23. This is lower than the Tesla Model S drag coefficient of Cd=0.24, which, in 2014, was the lowest among the production cars of the time.
Industry experts were dubious when, in May 2016, Tesla announced its decision to advance its 500,000-total-unit build plan (combined for Model S, Model X, and Model 3) to 2018, two years earlier than previously planned, in order to accelerate its target for Model 3 output. As predicted, there were "production bottlenecks" and "production hell". Tesla issued US$2 billion in new shares to the stock market to finance the plan.
The company plans for the Model 3 are part of Tesla's three-step strategy to start with a high-price vehicle and move progressively towards lower-cost vehicles, while the battery and electric drivetrain were improved and paid for through the sales of the Roadster, Model S, and Model X vehicles.
On April 18, 2018, Tesla updated its production target to 6,000 vehicles per week by the end of June 2018, an increase from its previous target of 5,000 vehicles per week which was previously promised at earlier dates.
On February 28, 2019, Tesla announced the availability of a lower-cost $35,000 Standard Range version. However, on April 12, 2019, Tesla announced that the Standard Range model would no longer be available for ordering online. The base price will also increase as all Model 3s now come standard with Autopilot, which was previously a $3000 option.
During an interview recorded in 2006 Musk referred to "Model 2" (later Tesla Model S), and to "Model 3". The Model 3 was codenamed Tesla BlueStar in the original business plan in 2007. The intended name was Model E, which was abandoned due to Ford trademark. Model 3, originally stylized as "Model ☰", was announced on Musk's Twitter account on July 16, 2014. Musk wanted the three current models to spell SEX, but settled for "S3X". In early 2017, after trademark opposition regarding Adidas's three stripes logo, the triplicate horizontal-bar stylization was abandoned and changed to a numeric "3".
In September 2015, Tesla announced that the Model 3 would be unveiled in March 2016. In January 2016, Musk said that the first official pictures of the car will be revealed at the end of March 2016. Delivery would begin in late 2017 first on the U.S.'s west coast and then move eastwards. Potential customers were first able to reserve a car at Tesla stores or online on March 31 with a refundable deposit of $1000. In February 2016, Tesla indicated that the unveiling would be on March 31, 2016. Employees of Tesla and SpaceX were given early access to Model 3 reservation, and about 10,000 signed up without discount, scheduled to receive the first batch of cars. Current owners of Tesla vehicles will get priority sales after employees but before the general public, as a reward for helping pay for the development of the Model 3. Early production is usually more flawed: both the Model S and the Model X had several problems at the start of their production, and have since improved.
On the morning of March 31, 2016, tens of thousands of people waited in lines to place the refundable deposit to reserve a Model 3 for 2017 delivery. During the Model 3 unveiling event, Tesla said that over 115,000 people had reserved the Model 3 in less than 24 hours prior; more cars than Tesla had sold by that time. 24 hours after opening reservations, Tesla had advanced orders for over 180,000 cars. Two days later, Tesla said they had 232,000 reservations.
One week after the unveiling, Tesla said it had over 325,000 reservations, more than triple the number of Model S sedans sold by the end of 2015. Musk said that 5% of reservations correspond to the maximum of two vehicles allowed per customer, "suggesting low levels of speculation", and that 93% of Model 3 reservations are from new buyers who do not currently own a Tesla. The previous record for advance deposits on a car was the 1955 Citroën DS that had 80,000 deposits during the ten days of the Paris Auto Show, while the Model 3 had 232,000 reservations in two days.
According to Tesla's global vice-president Robin Ren, China is the second-largest market for the Model 3 after the US. Tesla said the number of net reservations totaled about 373,000 as of May 15, 2016[update], after about 8,000 customer cancellations and about 4,200 reservations canceled by the automaker because these appeared to be duplicates from speculators. Upon its release in July 2017, there had been over 500,000 reservations for the Model 3, with Musk later clarifying there were a net of 455,000 reservations outstanding, and an average of 1,800 reservations were being added per day.
In 2013, design chief Franz von Holzhausen said that the Model 3 will "be an Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class type of vehicle that will offer everything: range, affordability, and performance" that is targeted toward the mass market. While technology from Tesla's Model S will be used in the Model 3, it will be 20% smaller than the Model S and have its own unique design.
According to Tesla's CTO, JB Straubel, in October 2015, most Tesla engineers were working on the 3 rather than S or X. Since electric cars have lower cooling needs than combustion cars, the Model 3 does not have or need a front grille. Musk intended for the final design to be released on June 30, 2016 but when the design was finished on July 27, it was not publicly released. After the final design of the first Model 3, any further changes would be included in future versions of the Model 3. The standard glass roof developed by Tesla Glass is made of the same glass used for Tesla's roof tiles.
The Model 3 is mostly steel, with some aluminum.
Traditional stability control is not made for dual-motor control or the faster response time in electric motors, and Tesla modified the control unit.
In a 2013 interview, Jerome Guillen discussed "BlueStar" (codename for the Model 3 project), stating that Tesla was expecting to eventually produce 400,000 cars per year.
In May 2016, Tesla told its suppliers that it intended to double earlier-announced[clarification needed] Model 3 production targets to 100,000 in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018 due to demand, which suppliers and many experts viewed as unattainable. In the Tesla Factory, paint lines for 500,000 automobiles commenced in 2015, and some stamping equipment for the Model 3 was operational by August 2016. Tesla bought Grohmann Engineering, experienced in automated manufacturing, January 2017. This acquisition launched Tesla Advanced Automation Germany, which Tesla said would develop manufacturing processes to be used initially in Model 3 production. According to Tesla in late 2016, the company expected to invest between US$2 billion and US$2.5 billion in capital expenditures ahead of the start of Model 3 production.
After the two Alpha prototypes were shown (silver and black; red was a shell) in April 2016, Tesla finished the design in late July 2016. Tesla ordered parts equivalent to 300 Beta prototypes in August 2016, preparing for development of the assembly line. As of August 2016, the company intended to make release candidates for testing prior to actual production. Tesla began building Model 3 prototypes in early February 2017 as part of the testing of the vehicle design and manufacturing processes. Tesla said in late 2016 that initial crash test results had been positive. Crash test results in mid-2019 were scored at 96% for protection of adults; 86% for protection of children and 74% for the way it handles "vulnerable road users" such as pedestrians. In addition, the Model 3's "safety assist" mode scored 94%.
In October 2016, Tesla said its production timeline was on schedule. Again in February 2017, Tesla said that vehicle development, supply chain and manufacturing are on track to support volume deliveries of the Model 3 in the second half of 2017. Limited vehicle production began in July 2017 and volume production was scheduled at that time to start by September 2017. As of February 2017, Tesla planned to ramp up production to exceed 5,000 vehicles per week in Q4 2017 and reach 10,000 vehicles per week in 2018. However, Tesla missed their Q4 production target by far, as only 2,425 vehicles were produced during the entire 3-month period. 5 months before, Musk claimed on Twitter that Tesla would be able to produce 20,000 Model 3 per month by December of the same year. Tesla's actual production numbers were therefore 93% lower than his prediction.[dubious – discuss]
Gigafactory 1 had been intended to produce battery packs for Model 3 and it was announced in January 2017 that Tesla would also manufacture drive units[clarification needed] at Gigafactory 1. In February 2017, Tesla said that installation of Model 3 manufacturing equipment was underway in the Fremont factory and at Gigafactory 1, where in January, production of battery cells for energy-storage products began, which have the same form factor as the cells that will be used in Model 3.
Tesla Model X (left) and Model 3 (right) at the unveiling event on March 31, 2016
As industry experts had predicted, Tesla did not meet the announced delivery targets. The first delivery was on July 7, 2017, to Musk himself. The first 30 production units were delivered on July 28, 2017.
In early July 2017, Musk forecast at least six months of serious production difficulties. Tesla's announced goal at that time was to produce 1,500 units in the third quarter of 2017, increasing to 5,000 per week by end of December 2017, but only 260 vehicles were manufactured during the third quarter. The company blamed product bottlenecks but said there were "no fundamental issues with the Model 3 production or supply chain" and expressed confidence about its ability to resolve the bottlenecks in the near future.
Tesla delivered just 1,542 Model 3 cars in the fourth quarter of 2017, about 2,900 less than Wall Street estimations, which were already halved previously after Tesla published the company's third quarter report. By early November 2017, Musk had postponed the target date for manufacturing 5,000 of the vehicles per week from December 2017 to March 2018. An analyst with Cowan and Company, an investment banking firm, said in November 2017 that "Elon Musk needs to stop over-promising and under-delivering". Prior to a planned shutdown in mid-April 2018 to further increase production, Tesla produced more than 2,000 Model 3 vehicles for three straight weeks. Customer deliveries totaled 1,764 units in 2017.
Deliveries totaled 8,182 units in the first quarter of 2018, 18,449 in the second, rose to 55,840 units in the third. Global deliveries passed the 100,000 unit milestone in October 2018. Sales in the fourth quarter achieved a record of 63,359 units, totaling 146,055 units delivered during the first full year of production, allowing the Model 3 to be the world's best selling plug-in electric car in 2018. Retail deliveries in Europe and China began in February 2019. Cumulative sales since inception totaled 198,719 units up to March 2019. Delivery of the first right-hand drive vehicles began in June 2019.
The Tesla Model 3 listed in 2018 as the best selling plug-in car in California, the U.S. and the world.
During the first half of 2018, the Model 3 was the top selling alternative fuel vehicle in California with 12,674 units, followed by the Toyota Prius conventional hybrid (10,043). The Model 3 became the best selling car by revenue in North America for the months July and August 2018, with monthly sales of US$993 million for August 2018, beating the Toyota Camry at US$765 million, and Honda Accord at US$679 million. By October 2018, Bloomberg reported that, in the U.S. market, Tesla Model 3 sales made it the fifth best-selling sedan in the previous quarter, behind the Toyota Camry and Corolla and Honda Civic and Accord models, but ahead of Nissan Sentra and Altima, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Fusion, and Chevrolet Cruze and Malibu models.
U.S. sales of the Model 3 reached the 100,000 unit milestone in November 2018, hitting this milestone quicker than any previous model sold in the country. The Model 3 was the top-selling plug-in electric car in the U.S. for 12 months in-a-row since January 2018, ending 2018 as the best-selling plug-in with an estimated all-time record of 139,782 units delivered, the first time a plug-in car sold more than 100 thousand units in a single year. Additionally, the Model 3 ranked as the best selling luxury vehicle in the American market in 2018.
The Model 3 also topped plug-in electric car sales in California in 2018, with 51,293 units registered, as well as the state's best selling car in the near luxury category. In January 2019, the Model 3 overtook the Model S to become the U.S. all-time best selling all-electric car, and, the next month, also passed the Chevrolet Volt to become the all-time top selling plug-in electric car in the U.S. Since inception, an estimated 163,979 Model 3 cars have been delivered in the American market up to March 2019.
In May 2018, Consumer Reports' testing for the Model 3 found “big flaws such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls”, finding the braking distance worse than a Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck, and causing it to not recommend the car. Tesla responded to the claims with concern and, a few days later (over a weekend), released an over-the-air (OTA) update fixing the anti-lock braking algorithm. Consumer Reports, impressed with the prompt—and unprecedented—brake fix OTA update, verified the improved braking performance and changed its rating to a recommended model. However, Consumer Reports has revoked the Model 3's recommendation as of February 2019, as "many customers have reported problems with the [car], including loose body trim and glass defects".
First production Tesla Model 3 cars ready for the delivery event on July 28, 2017
As production began in 2017, the base Model 3 was announced to have a 50-kWh battery with a range of about 220 miles (350 km) while the optional 75-kWh battery would have a range of about 310 miles (500 km). In the event, Tesla did not produce any base Model 3s in 2017 or 2018. The battery uses 2170-size lithium-ion cells
As of 2017, the 350-volt Model 3 battery pack was made of four longitudinal modules each containing the individual battery cells. The Standard Range version carries 2,976 cells arranged in groups of 31. The Long Range version carries 4,416 cells arranged in groups of 46,[needs update] and weighs 480 kg.
Tesla continues to improve the design of the 2170 battery cell and introduces incremental improvements into the manufacturing line periodically.
Tesla began manufacture of the "lighter, better, cheaper" 2170 cell during 2018, with a company goal of reducing the cost of assembled battery packs to US$100 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by December 2018, and moving the new cell into volume production at Gigafactory 1 during the first quarter of 2019. Electrek reports that the improved battery cell design is needed to further reduce battery costs as Tesla attempts to deliver the Model 3 Standard Range for the promised base price of US$35,000.
In July 2018, media reported that a Model 3 prototype was seen in California and Nevada while towing a trailer in an apparent evaluation of a tow bar. In May 2019 Tesla started offering an optional tow bar rated for 2,000 pounds (910 kg) available with Standard Range Plus and Long Range for the European Model 3. 
The Model 3 uses regenerative braking, which was tweaked and improved in October 2018 via a software update.
Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection, with mounting points for a roof rack (sold separately). A single pane of glass extends from the center of the roof to the trunk.
Pearl White Multi-Coat, Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, Red Multi-Coat (Discontinued: Silver Metallic & Obsidian Black Metallic)
Black or White
Standard Interior package
Standard package: Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection; Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors; Music and media over Bluetooth; Custom driver profiles; Manual seat and steering adjustment; Cloth seats and base trim; Basic audio; Standard maps and navigation; Center console with storage and 4 USB ports
Partial Premium Interior package
Upgradeable if delivered with software locked interior
Standard package plus: 12-way power adjustable heated front seats; Premium seat material and trim; Upgraded audio – immersive sound; LED fog lamps; Docking for 2 smartphones
Premium Interior package
Partial Premium Interior package plus: rear heated seats; Premium audio – 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps, and immersive sound; Satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization and navigation; In-car internet streaming music & media; Internet browser; Location-aware automatic garage door opener can be added for $300.
"Full Self-Driving" including Navigate on Autopilot, Autopark, Summon, etc. Since all vehicles include all sensor hardware, optional Full Self Driving capabilities can be enabled later if not ordered at time of vehicle purchase.
Tesla Model 3s in colors Silver Metallic (left) and Midnight Silver (right)
Car-design columnist and former car designer for GMRobert Cumberford said the Model 3 "is an excellent design" and praised the front fascia skin that he thinks is superior to the black plastic simulated grille of the pre-refresh Model S. Cumberford praised the Model 3's minimalist design, and "elegant simplicity" akin to Apple products. Although he criticized the car's spoiler, he said the Model 3 has a design that would age well, and "in 10 years it will still look contemporary and beautifully understated, not old and irrelevant."
Motor Trend said the nose was controversial and polarizing, but probably intentionally so.Vanity Fair and others compared the Model 3 to the Ford Model T for its intended affordability as a volume-produced electric vehicle and for its limited set of options, namely range, wheels and exterior color of which all but black costs extra. Automotive journalist Doug DeMuro said the Model 3 was better, though $2,000 more expensive, than the BMW 340i and that it was the "coolest car of the year," later clarifying that this was based on the "long waiting lists, obsessive interest and news stories."Alex Roy said that DeMuro's review had concentrated on hardware details and missed out on the bigger picture.
Automotive-industry analyst Toni Sacconaghi of AllianceBernstein said after driving one of the early Tesla vehicles in November 2017 that "Overall, we found the Model 3 to be a compelling offering, and believe it is likely to further galvanize the overall Electric Vehicle category." He was less impressed with build quality of the test samples. "Fit and finish on the two demo cars we saw—perhaps not surprisingly—was relatively poor." He said that there were quality issues at first with the Model X which led to some concern. "This is going to be a much, much higher-volume car, and if there are any quality issues, that could overwhelm the service centers and undermine the Tesla brand." Nonetheless, Sacconaghi was impressed with the ride quality, performance and interior space, and concluded that the 3 "risks cannibalizing the [very expensive] Model S going forward." 
Road and Track's Bob Sorokanich said the "Model 3 proves that Tesla is thinking far beyond the edges of the Model S and X. Stepping out of the 3, you realize that, as far as the S and X pushed the envelope, they were always meant as intermediaries, stepping stones designed to draw people away from comfortable convention and into the future of the automobile. ... The Model 3 is Tesla at its most unabashed. It's an automaker finally willing to abandon the skeuomorphism of a false radiator grille, the tradition of a driver-oriented gauge panel."
In early 2019, Kelley Blue Book announced that the Tesla Model 3 was the "Best Resale Value Award" winner of all automobiles in the US market "with a projected 69.3% resale value after 36 months and 48.7% after 60 months."
Popular Mechanics named the Tesla Model 3 the magazine's Car of the Year. Popular Mechanics said the car represented the future of motoring, with "ferocious" acceleration, and novel and reliable autonomous features. The review said the car lacked a head-up display, but was overall impressive.
^ abHTSLV00.0L13-004(PDF) (Report). United States Environmental Protection Agency. July 5, 2017. pp. 1–12. Archived from the original(Certification Summary Information Report) on August 6, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017. Tesla Model 3 … Long Range … Rated horsepower: 258; … Curb Weight (lbs): 3837; Equivalent Test Weight (pounds): 4250; … Charge Depleting Range (Actual miles): 495.04 … Average voltage: 351; … Integrated Amp-hours: 222.81; … END-SOC: 78720 wh [sic]
^ abcJose, Pontes (January 31, 2019). "Global Top 20 - December 2018". EVSales.com. Retrieved February 2, 2019. "Global sales totaled 2,018,247 plug-in passenger cars in 2018, with a BEV:PHEV ratio of 69:31, and a market share of 2.1%. The world's top selling plug-in car was the Tesla Model 3, and Tesla was the top selling manufacturer of plug-in passenger cars in 2018, followed by BYD."
^Lambert, Fred (December 26, 2016). "10 electric cars coming in the next 3 years". Electrek. Retrieved December 26, 2016. Tesla will start by delivering the vehicles to employees in California (with Tesla and SpaceX it could be up to as many as 10,000 cars)
^Hogg, Rachael (July 26, 2016). "Tesla's supply chain set for a surge". Automotive Logistics. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016. Getting from something like 50,000 to 500,000 units is a big, big step
^Hogg, Rachael (May 11, 2016). "Tesla warns supply chain issues could scupper its growth plans". Automotive Logistics. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016. it has no experience in manufacturing vehicles at the volumes anticipated for the Model 3. [...] will need to develop "efficient, automated, low-cost manufacturing capabilities, processes and supply chains necessary to support such volumes"
^Cypel, Sylvain (August 12, 2013). "Tesla, la dernière coqueluche de la Silicon Valley" [Tesla, the latest darling of Scilicon Valley]. Le Monde (in French). Retrieved September 17, 2018. Le premier, Jérôme Guillen, 41 ans, est né à Avignon. Parti de France à 20 ans, après un doctorat d'ingénierie mécanique aux Etats-Unis, un passage chez McKinsey et DaimlerBenz … Nom de code : BlueStar. Ce sera, promet M. Guillen, "un véhicule encore plus technologique mais moins sophistiqué. Un jour, nous aussi, ici, nous fabriquerons 400 000 voitures".
^Campbell, Angela (August 2, 2016). "Ordering Enough Model 3 Parts For 300 Prototypes". The Country Caller. Retrieved November 5, 2016. Once the assembly line is installed following the beta prototype completion, the automaker produces a several "release candidates."
^ abcDonnelley, RR (August 1, 2018). Automotive Products. Tesla Second Quarter 2018 Update (Report). p. 2. Retrieved August 2, 2018. We produced 53,339 vehicles in Q2 and delivered 22,319 Model S and Model X vehicles and 18,449 Model 3 vehicles, totaling 40,768 deliveries.
^Tesla, Inc. (January 2, 2019). "Tesla Fourth Quarter 2018 Update" (Press release). Nasdaq. Retrieved January 2, 2019. Production … 61,394 Model 3 vehicles … 15% more than Q3. … Q4 deliveries … 63,150 Model 3 (13% growth over Q3) … 1,010 Model 3 vehicles … were in transit
^California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) (August 2018). "California Green Vehicle Report (YTD June 2018)"(PDF). CNCDA. Retrieved October 24, 2018. See section: "Electric and Plug In Vehicle Segments Move Higher in 2018" - registrations through December March 2018 since 2014.
^Kane, Mark (February 4, 2019). "US Plug-In Electric Car Sales Charted: January 2019". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved February 6, 2019. See Graph: "Top 10 U.S. Plug-in cars (cumulative sales)" In January 209 the Tesla Model 3 (148,046) overtook the Model S (144,767). The Chevrolet Volt (152,819) continues as the all-time best selling plug-in car in the U.S.