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Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

Elon Musk revealed Tesla Model 3 is unlocked by a smartphone and doesn’t have a traditional key or fob among a host of other details at the delivery event for the first 30 mass-market electric cars over the weekend.

As the Tesla Model 3  enters what Musk called “six months of manufacturing hell” as Tesla ramps up production to meet the more than 500,000 pre-orders, one of the most surprising titbits is that there is no traditional key to open and start Tesla’s mass-market electric car hope.

Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

Instead, would-be buyers of the $35,000-plus five-seat electric car will have to unlock the car with their smartphones over Bluetooth. The Tesla Model 3 will detect the owner’s smartphone – almost all modern smartphones made in the last three years supports Bluetooth – and automatically unlock, ready to start and go.

Should the battery on your phone run flat, which is a very real possibility in the days of increased use for everything from music, cameras and now keys, Tesla has a backup in the form of an NFC key card that is apparently thin enough to store in a wallet.

Press the card against the car’s B-pillar to unlock it and place it between the seats on a special spot to be able to start the car. Tesla Model 3’s designed for valet use, but should be good to get into the car and at least charge your phone so you can properly unlock the Tesla Model 3  and go.

But the key-less design wasn’t the only thing we learned over the weekend …

 Two battery versions

Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

The Tesla Model 3 will come in two versions. The $35,000 base model has a battery with a 220-mile range, does 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of 130mph. It can be “supercharged” to 130 miles of range in 30 minutes and charges at a rate of 30 miles per hour via a 240V, 32A home charger.

The range-extended version, which costs $44,000, will travel up to 310 miles per charge, reaches 60mph in 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. It will reach a charge of 170 miles in 30 minutes attached to a supercharger, and charges at a rate of 37 miles per hour with a 240V, 40A home charger.

The more expensive Tesla Model 3 with the longer range is currently being produced, with the cheaper version to be produced at a later date. A high-performance version of the Tesla Model 3 will also be available sometime in the middle of next year, according to Musk.

Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

 15 Inch touchscreen

There’s no speedometer, battery gauge or anything else directly in front of the driver. Instead there’s a large, 15in touchscreen in the middle of the dash, which displays a virtual instrument cluster along with mapping, entertainment and cabin controls.

The Model S has a 17in touchscreen in the middle of the dash, but it is in mounted in a portrait orientation compared to the Tesla Model 3   landscape orientation.

Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

Tesla is in the process of developing a fully autonomous system for its cars, which uses the equipment from the Enhanced Autopilot system. While the system isn’t ready, and won’t be legal to use in the UK and US until the appropriate legislation is passed, an upgrade to fully autonomous driving will cost just $3,000 on top of the Enhanced Autopilot upgrade.

Full self-driving

Tesla Model 3 Electric Car

Tesla is in the process of developing a fully autonomous system for its cars, which uses the equipment from the Enhanced Autopilot system. While the system isn’t ready, and won’t be legal to use in the UK and US until the appropriate legislation is passed, an upgrade to fully autonomous driving will cost just $3,000 on top of the Enhanced Autopilot upgrade.

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