Maybe you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of people who are already on the Tesla Model 3 reservation list. Or maybe you haven’t plunked down $1000 yet, but are getting ready to do so. Or maybe you’re trying to better understand Tesla's Model 3 so you can make a decision after your current auto lease runs out, or when the car you currently own begins to show its age.
No matter which of those categories best describes you, here's a quick guide and infographic for soon-to-be Model 3 owners. We’ve organized the infographic along a timeline that includes: what you need to understand right now (before final specs are revealed and production vehicle deliveries begin); what you need to do once specs have been revealed; how to assess when you might get your Tesla Model 3 as deliveries begin; what plans you need to make as deliveries ramp up; how to proceed as your delivery gets close.
What you need to understand right now…
If you’re typical of most future owners of the Tesla Model 3, you’ll be a first-time electric vehicle (EV) owner. You won’t need to have an in-depth knowledge of EV tech, but it’s not a bad idea to understand the basics.
It's reasonable to state that the battery lies at the heart of every electric vehicle. That's why it's important to understand the battery and the way your Tesla Model 3 battery is charged.
In his best selling book, Owning Model S, Nick Howe provides an excellent battery and charging metaphor that is wholly appropriate for the Model 3. Think of the Model 3 battery as a bucket that you can fill with water. The bucket can be empty, full, or partly full. Charging Model 3 is a lot like filling the bucket. When you drive Model 3, it's a lot like emptying the bucket. Of course, you don't actually fill the battery with water, you fill it with electricity directly from the electric grid, then into your house, through an outlet into your charging cable, and finally into your Model 3.
In our infographic, we indicate the typical miles of range per hour of charging (mrph) for different charging arrangements. For example, if you install a 240V 50A circuit in your garage, you get approximately 27 – 30 miles of range per hour of charging. That’s why it's a very good idea to charge you Model 3 overnight. By the way, using a 110V circuit is hopelessly slow.
Most new EV owners obsess about range. Because EVs are powered by a battery, and most people have experienced a dead smartphone, everyone, including future Model 3 owners understands that a battery can go dead if it is not recharged. And because there’s a perception that recharging is difficult (it isn’t), future owners of Model 3s might experience “range anxiety”—the sometimes irrational fear that they’ll be stranded without a charge.
It’s likely that for 95 percent of your driving, range will not be an issue and range anxiety is silly. But for long road trips, it is necessary to do a little planning to ensure that a charging location will be available when you need it.
The actual range of your Model 3 depends on many factors including: your driving style (aggressive or calm), the environment in which you drive (e.g., Do you live in a cold weather climate or an area that is mountainous?), and your use of regenerative braking. You’ll have to take all of that into account to assess the real range of your Model 3.
What you need to do once specs have been revealed…
Available options for early Model 3 deliveries will be limited—with only wheel size and car color as your option choices. So configuring your Model 3 during what we call “Phase 1” of the delivery cycle in our infographic will be quite simple and personal. Later, during "Phase 2" — more options will be available, potentially including a larger battery, dual motor drive, autopilot options, and other features and functions. The big decision for people on the reservation list is this: Do you defer and wait for more options or pull the trigger so you’ll be among the first to own Model 3?
How to assess when you might get your Model 3 as deliveries begin…
Whether you stood in line at a Tesla store on the morning of March 31, 2016, signed up 10 days later, or decided you’d get on the reservation list a few months ago, the big question remains—when will your Model 3 get delivered?
The answer to this question is predicated on Tesla’s initial delivery ramp, the production rate, and, of course, your position on the reservation list.
The delivery ramp for Model 3 is a measure of how quickly Tesla will increase production over a period of many months once Model 3 deliveries begin. The delivery ramp takes the shape of an S-curve. During the first months of production, delivery growth will be relatively low, but once kinks are worked out, it will accelerate rapidly. Then it will moderate but continue to grow as additional efficiencies are found to improve the production process.
The production rate is the number of vehicles produced per unit time. The higher the rate, the faster you’ll get your Model 3. As of right now, there are only projections, and these range from an average of 1,000 to 5,000 cars per week, with some going even higher. Bottom line—you’ll need to follow breaking news to get an accurate indication of Tesla’s actual production rate as soon as deliveries begin.
Finally, your position on the reservation list will dictate when you get the “It’s time to configure your Model 3" email from Tesla. We provide a detailed algorithm that relates your reservation list position to delivery ramp and production rate in the book, Getting Ready for Model 3. In addition, a few other factors will determine your delivery timeframe including whether or not you're a Tesla or SpaceX employee, where you live, and other criteria. Look there for more details.
What plans you need to make as deliveries ramp up…
As deliveries ramp up, you’ll have to begin developing a strategy for charging your Tesla Model 3. We note three things to consider in the infographic, but the most important is your personal charging infrastructure (PCI). In most cases, you’ll create a PCI at your place of residence—in your garage if you own or rent a house or condo with one; at your parking spot, if you live in a condo without a garage.
Creating a PCI is really quite simple, if you’re the only person who has to approve the project, but if you live in a communal setting—a condo, an apartment building, a co-op—things can get a bit more complicated and sometimes, quite frustrating. And if you live in a city and use on-street parking? Then what? The answer to that question is a bit more complex than you might think, but there are answers and alternatives. For a detailed discussion of how to plan for and create a PCI, refer to the book, Getting Ready for Model 3.
How to proceed as your delivery get close…
In many ways, you do the same things prior to the delivery of Model 3 as you’ve done prior to the delivery of any car you’ve ever owned. You’ll need to arrange financing and take care of all appropriate paperwork. But you should also consider any EV incentives offered by your state or country. And, you should have established your PCI, so that you can charge Model 3 when it arrives. If you’re a first time EV owner, get ready for a unique experience. Enjoy your Model 3.
It’s difficult to cover everything you’ll need to do the get ready for Model 3 in a short blog post and infographic. If you’d like to learn more, the book, Getting Ready for Model 3 remains an excellent source of information.
Source: Getting Ready for Model 3, Roger Pressman