Tesla Getting Close to Debuting Model 3 with 400-Mile Range for China

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【Summary】While an impressive figure, that figure doesn't translate over to the same amount in the U.S., but could point toward future improvements.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 18, 2020 8:00 AM PT
Tesla Getting Close to Debuting Model 3 with 400-Mile Range for China

Because of the coronavirus, Tesla, and nearly every other automaker with factories in North America, have closed down facilities to stop the spread of the virus. Things in China, though, are returning back to normal. Tesla's plant in Shanghai is up and running again, back to building electric cars like nothing happened. And it sounds like Tesla may have a special Model 3 in the pipeline for the Chinese market that will have even more range.

Boosting Range With A New Model

According to a report by Bloomberg, Tesla is working on expanding its lineup of electric vehicles for China with a new Model 3 sedan. It will be built in China and, more crucially, have roughly 404 miles (650 kilometers) of range on a single charge. That's a large upgrade over the current Model 3 that's available in the country, which has 280 miles (450 kilometers) of range. While range would go up, pricing would, too. The current Model 3 is priced at 323,800 yuan ($45,800), while the upcoming EV is expected to start at roughly 350,000 yuan ($49,529).

The outlet received the information from anonymous individuals that are familiar with the matter.

While seeing Tesla working on a vehicle with 404 miles of range is an exciting thought, it's important to keep in mind that China and the United States don't use the same measurements for an electric car's range. Seeing the large number, especially compared to the Model 3 Long Range trim's figure of 322 miles in the U.S., may show that Tesla's continuing to improve its technology. But it's difficult to say if that's concrete. It's unclear what kind of range 404 miles on China's measurements would be for the U.S. market.

A Possible Hint For U.S. Models

Still, it's a healthy boost for consumers in China. And it would help the automaker stay relevant in a market that's seeing quite a lot of new models. As Bloomberg points out, Volkswagen and BMW are both working on new electric cars for the Chinese market. Electric vehicles have become incredibly popular in the country recently, but the outlet also believes that new vehicles will "spur demand" for markets that have been affected by the coronavirus.

With the spread of the virus in China, Tesla has seen sales drop off for two straight months. A new vehicle, especially one with a good amount of range, would help draw consumers in and bring back sales that it lost. It's a way of Tesla going big at a time when other brands are least expecting it.

It could also mean good news for consumers in the U.S. Tesla continually updates its batteries, like it recently did with the Model S and Model X, endowing vehicles with more range than before. If Tesla finds a way to update its tech for its EVs in another market, there's a good chance that those same updates would come to American cars.

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