Tesla Finally Debuts $35,000 Version of Model 3

Tesla Inc. has finally made good on its promise nearly four years ago to offer its Model 3 electric sedan at a base price of $35,000.

Tesla also says it will begin closing some of its factory-owned showrooms as it shifts to selling its EVs exclusively online. CEO Elon Musk says adopting an e-commerce strategy will enable it to lower the cost of its vehicles by about 6%.

Tesla’s website says customers who order the Model 3 at $35,000 can expect to take delivery in 2-4 weeks. The company hasn’t said how many cars it will make available at that price.

The rear-wheel-drive base model comes only in black and with manually adjusted cloth seats and a no-frills audio/nav system. The car can travel 220 miles per charge, accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and achieve a top speed of 130 mph, according to the company.

The Model 3 debuted in mid-2017 with a starting price of $44,000. It entry-level sticker fell to $42,900 early last month. Musk says it’s been “insanely difficult” to drive down costs enough to justify a $35,000 starting price.

Musk told Tesla employees in January that the company must shrink its workforce 7%, tighten its production methods and take other steps to sustain the full-year profitability it achieved last year.