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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Tesla fans: Pay no attention to Model 3 doomsday scenario from Business Insider

Matthew DeBord, a writer for Business Insider, was dubbed "The Saab Slob" when he lived in Los Angeles and never washed his car, above.
DeBord also appears to be a fan of motorcycles, but it's unclear what qualifies him to write about Tesla's Model 3, the highly anticipated all-electric sedan that is expected to go into production in July.



Just the headline sent chills down the spines of Tesla fans:

"The Model 3 could be the worst thing
 that ever happened to Tesla" 

But the story for BusinessInsider.com contained a fatal flaw in the very first paragraph:

"Small cars are in a crisis in the U.S.," said Matthew DeBord, a so-called senior correspondent who covers transportation for Business Insider.

"Increasingly, consumers want big pickups and SUVs.... Into this challenging small-car situation will soon arrive Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 mass-market sedan."

What a blooper. 

Tesla makes premium all-electric cars and although Model 3 will be smaller and more affordable than Model S and Model X, no one in their right mind would lump the zero-emissions vehicle in with gas-engine "small cars." 

It's true that in a period of low gas prices GM, Ford other automakers have been struggling to sell such small cars as the Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus.

But would nearly 400,000 people pay $1,000 each to reserve a Model 3, if they expected the 4-door sedan to be just another "small car"?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says Model 3 production will begin in July in the same Fremont, Calif., plant where Model S and Model X are assembled.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk introducing the Model 3.

Premium sedan

Model 3, like all Teslas being built now, will be a premium EV equipped with Level 5 autonomous-driving hardware (sensors, cameras and so forth) -- the highest level available.

My 2015 Tesla Model S will drive itself on the highway, park itself and pull out of the garage when I use the "Summon" command on my smartphone's Tesla app.

A nicely equipped Model 3 will cost about $50,000 (base price $35,000), have a range of more than 200 miles on a full charge and is expected to attain the highest safety ratings in every category. 

No "small-car" thinking went into Model 3, which will be a much wiser choice for fans of all-electric cars than the cheap-looking Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Nearly 2 years after I bought my Model S, I still feel like I belong to an exclusive club, and early Model 3 owners should feel the same.

Plus, they'll be buying one of the fastest and quietest sedans on the road, and helping, not hurting, the environment.