FREMONT, Calif. (AP) – For Tesla, everything is riding on the Model 3.
The electric car company’s newest vehicle is set to go to its first 30 customers Friday evening.
At a starting price of $35,000, the Model 3 is half the cost of Tesla’s previous vehicles. That and its 215-mile range could bring hundreds of thousands of customers into Tesla’s fold.
But analysts warn of potential pitfalls. Tesla had quality problems even when producing vehicles on a smaller scale. And the compact Model 3 may be less appealing as other electric models go on sale, like an upcoming Audi SUV.
Limits on U.S. tax credits could also dampen demand. The $7,500 credit phases out after an automaker sells 200,000 electric cars in the U.S. Tesla has sold more than 126,000 cars since 2008.