Affordable Model 3 is Tesla's biggest test yet

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Motors is jumping into the mainstream with its newest car, the Model 3.

Tesla plans to unveil the car Thursday night in Los Angeles. It's expected to go on sale at the end of 2017.

With a starting price of $35,000 — before government incentives — the Model 3 is less than half the cost of Tesla's previous models.

The car is expected to have a range of at least 200 miles when fully charged, about double what drivers get from competitors like the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.

The Model 3 is the most serious test yet of 13-year-old Tesla's ability to go from a niche player to a full-fledged automaker.

The new car is critical to Tesla's plan to increase sales and finally make a full-year profit.