Elon Musk has a lot riding on his new Tesla

Elon Musk has a lot riding on his new Tesla

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk is poised to reveal his newest creation, the Model 3, at an event on Thursday. Starting at $35,000, the car represents Tesla’s first electric vehicle aimed at price-conscious, mainstream consumers. And how it fares is going to have a major impact on Tesla’s long-term future as a company — and the future of electric cars more broadly. That’s why this unveiling is an incredibly important moment.

The Model 3 represents the culmination of a years-long strategy by Musk to stimulate a huge shift in global car culture that emphasizes sustainability. Back in 2006, Musk laid out this vision in a blog post on Tesla’s website:

The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model.

In other words, this is the endgame. Although the company had focused first on high-end cars — the Tesla Roadster, the Model S, and the Model X — the ultimate goal was to bring the electric car to the masses. So for Tesla to have reached this point is going to be, naturally, a very big deal in the company’s history. But that’s not the only reason the Model 3 is significant.

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