Tesla finally delivered on its promise to begin shipping a low-cost, entry-level Model 3 for consumers. But, in order to achieve that feat, the company announced that it plans to shift to an online-only sales model, effectively closing down all of its physical retail locations.
It’s long been a goal of the company to hit the $35,000 price point for its long range electric vehicles, and Tesla has now accomplished that by lowering the price of the basic Model 3—a vehicle with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph, and a 0-60 acceleration of 5.6 seconds. Despite the lower cost, Tesla said in a statement, the new standard Model 3 is still built to a “perfect 5-star safety rating.” In addition, the company announced a new $37,000 Model 3 Standard Range Plus that offers 240 miles of range, a 140 mph top speed, and 0-60 acceleration in 5.3 seconds.
In order to compensate for the lower-cost standard Model 3 and still “financially sustainable,” Tesla said it plans to shift all of its sales online. The company said the online purchase process takes about a minute, and that that capability will be extended worldwide. In addition, the company is relaxing its test drive and return policies to make it easier to try out and get refunds for their cars. Specifically, Tesla said, consumers will have a seven-day, 1,000-mile return window.