2017 Release Set For $35,000 Tesla Model III

Jul 16, 2014 10:55 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

Tesla Motors isn't ready to deliver its Model X SUV yet, but the automaker did announce this week that that its first electric mainstream car will be called the Tesla Model III.

Company CEO Elon Musk said the Model III will be based on the electric car company's third-gen platform, according to a tweet sent out on the automaker's Twitter account.

Interested customers can expect the new car to be available for around $35,000, or half the cost of the current Model S.

Tesla expects the Model III to have a range of at least 200 miles on a single charge.

Musk, who initially wanted to call the vehicle the Model E, said he had to rethink the name after facing legal issues from Ford Motors.

 "We had the Model S for sedan and X for crossover SUV, then a friend asked what we were going to call the third car," Musk said, according to Auto Express. "So I said we had the Model S and X, we might as well have the E."

Tesla will probably use batteries built in the automaker's planned Gigafacory.

Musk said to the magazine that a range boost upgrade is coming for the original Roadster.

The upgraded battery means the vehicles will have a range of at least 400 miles on a single charge, "which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop," according to Musk.

The 2017 Tesla Model III is being positioned to compete with a number of vehicles like the BMW 3 Series.

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