Having announced the Model 3 in 2016, Elon Musk has revealed the most affordable Tesla is ready to hit the roads. The company founder – and mercurial would-be inter-planetary explorer – says the first owners will be getting their cars before the end of July.

According to Musk, the first 30 customer cars will be handed over at an event on July 28. Production will be slow to start – Tesla expects to build just 100 cars in August – but things should speed up significantly from there. The company wants to build more than 1,500 cars in September, and hopes to be running at 20,000 cars per month by December.

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In a first for Tesla, that means the Model 3 will actually start production ahead of schedule. The Model S and Model X were both heavily delayed, and there were plenty of complaints about the build quality of early examples.

Although not ideal, the audience for those cars was cashed-up early adopters, most of whom were willing to accept a few rough edges in exchange for the smug satisfaction (and cool factor) associated with being an early owner. Given it's priced to compete with the Chevrolet Bolt, the Model 3 can't afford to have the same teething issues.

Tesla has an estimated 300,000 preorders for the Model 3, which means you won't be able to wander into a dealership and just drive away in a car. At the moment, the Model 3 page on the Tesla website says new orders will be delivered in mid-2018. The car will offer a 215 mile (346 km) range when it arrives, and Musk has promised a sub-six-second sprint to 60 mph (97 km/h).

Source: Elon Musk via Twitter

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