Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for short bursts of activity on Twitter, oftentimes answering fans and reporters questions on the social media platform.
On Friday, as Musk was on a flight to Cape Canaveral-presumably to attend to business related to SpaceX, the aerospace company he also runs-the billionaire entrepreneur shared a number of new details about the Model 3, a video, and even the solar roof tiles Tesla plans to sell.
Here’s what we learned:
First the basics, Musk wanted to clarify that Model 3 is not simply a next version of a Tesla.
Am noticing that many people think Model 3 is the "next version" of a Tesla, like iPhone 2 vs 3. This is not true.- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2017
Model 3 is just a smaller, more affordable version of Model S w less range & power & fewer features. Model S has more advanced technology.- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2017
He later got more specific about the Model 3 in response to several questions from the above tweet.
- It will have Autopilot capabilities, which has been shared before.
- It will still be awesome. When asked Musk’s reply was “definitely.”
- Musk then added the Model 3 will be like a BMW 3 series or Audi A4. “Model S is like BMW 5 and 6 series, but much faster, more storage space + Autopilot,” he tweeted.
- It should be able to fit a large cooler in the trunk of the Model 3 (a response a concern about trunk space in sedans).
- It won’t contain any significantly new technology that has yet to be introduced to the S or X. Musk says there’s lots of new tech in the design and production process, but nothing “majorly new that a consumer would notice.”
- The shorter wheelbase of the Model 3 only allows for a 75 kilowatt-hour battery pack in Model 3. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t have a greater range than the Chevy Bolt EV, which can travel 238 miles on a single charge.
When asked if the Model 3 would have a longer range than the Chevy Bolt, Musk had a simple answer.
The Model 3 will eventually have other versions just like the Model S and X. There will be a “performance” model, which allows for faster acceleration, probably a year from now.
And there will be a dual motor option-meaning all-wheel drive-but not until next year.
In a follow-up question about why a dual motor option wouldn’t be available to early adopters of the vehicle, Musk explained the company wanted to minimize the complexity of the initial production.
Musk said early reservation holders that want to wait for a dual motor vehicle would be first in line. Tesla will make an all-wheel version of the Model 3 as soon as it can, which is probably in six to nine months, Musk added. It isn’t clear if that timeline is from today or once production of the Model 3 begins in July.
The Model will also have one display, Musk said. When asked about whether the vehicle would have a heads-up display, The CEO took a futuristic view.
@arctechinc The more autonomous a car is, the less dash info you need. How often do you look at the instrument panel when being driven in a taxi?- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2017
Fans in the UK will have to wait for right-hand drive versions of the Model 3 until summer 2018. Musk added an apology when asked about the market.
“Sorry, really wish we could get RHD done sooner. We truly are working as fast as we can,” Musk tweeted.
Finally, don’t expect Musk to be spotted driving the Model 3, at least not as an everyday car.
@CamKode The Model S produced today is arguably version 4. Let me put it this way: it is the car I will keep driving even after Model 3 arrives.- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2017