The first production version of Tesla’s compact Model 3 electric car rolled off the assembly line recently—and into the hands of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who tweeted a pair of photos of the car on July 9.

Ira Ehrenpreis, a member of the Tesla board of directors, was first on the list of reservations for the brand’s newest model, but rather than drive it home himself, he decided to give it to Musk on the occasion of the CEO’s 46th birthday.

Regardless of who has the keys, that the car is in production is a promising thing, after months of delays surrounding the design and construction of a vehicle that’s supposed to bring high-performance electric motoring to the masses.

On July 28, the first 30 Tesla customers who don’t also own the company will get their hands on the Model 3s they reserved in a special hand-off ceremony.


The Model 3 is significant for its promised base price of $35,000 US (we don’t yet know what it costs in Canada, but Tesla says that will be revealed this year, and that the first Canadian-market cars will be delivered in 2018) to which will apply regional electric vehicle incentives.

Also notable is Tesla’s claim it will be able to crank out 20,000 Model 3s every month as of this December, following a production ramp-up through August and September.

Right now, Tesla says there are more than 300,000 people in line for a Model 3, all of whom have put down a $1,000 deposit against the cost of the car.

(via The Guardian)