I took a ride in Tesla's new Model 3

Three things to watch for when the Tesla Model 3 launches tonight

Self-driving capability is inevitably a question when it comes to Tesla and such a significant event in the future of the auto industry.

During a ceremony at the USA automaker's manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif., Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented the new, more affordable electric cars to a group of 30 employees selected to be the first owners.

The herculean undertaking ahead will be to produce the vehicle at a scale the automaker has come nowhere close to achieving to date.

"We finally have a great, affordable, electric car-that's what this day means", Musk said.

"We are going to be in production hell".

Musk has kept investors enamoured despite manufacturing hiccups that have regularly bedevilled Tesla. Musk did not disclose the size of the battery packs, just their range, performance and respective pricing.

Musk has said a simpler Model 3 design will greatly reduce potential assembly-line problems.

Tesla's new model is the key to the company's future, and the reason why its share price has almost doubled since December. It may ramp up slowly because they want to get it right.

This is one part of a series of posts from the Model 3 unveiling.

The head of the company - American entrepreneur Elon Musk handed over to the buyers at the factory in California the first 30 cars.

A red Tesla Model 3 driven by Musk rolls up a ramp, video from the scene showed.

With the Model 3, Tesla hopes to start cranking out hundreds of thousands of cars annually. But that may be easier said than done because about half a million cars have been reserved.

Those specs are for the single motor rear-wheel-drive version of the Model 3. CEO Elon Musk said Tesla will build the cars as fast as it can, but acknowledged that supply issues and other complexities will make it tough to reach his goal of making 500,000 cars next year.

There will be two main variants of the Model 3, the first is what we have become familiar with already. "Tesla has an established pattern of over-promising and under-delivering on the timing of key achievements". If you opt for the Long Range edition (a $9,000 battery option), that figure drops to just over 5 seconds and extends its drive time to a whopping 310 miles. The pricier version will be capable of about 500 kilometres of driving between charges. The cards will unlock the door with a tap on the B pillar, and start up the vehicle with another tap between the front seats. For another $3,000, the Model 3 will be ready for "full self-driving capability", an option that will become available in the future and makes the vehicle "capable of conducting trips with no action required by the person in the driver's seat", the company said.

Success with the Model 3 could ease concerns about the ability of Tesla to grow significantly.

Tesla lists suspension as double wishbone, virtual steer axis front suspension with coilover twin tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar in front and independent multi-link rear suspension with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar rear.

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