Tesla Model 3s now on display at San Jose’s Santana Row and in Walnut Creek

Though the number of Tesla Model 3s in the wild is slowly rising, people interested in getting up close and even inside the electric vehicle have two more places to find it on display the Bay Area.

Tesla had chosen this region as one of two locations where it first put the Model 3 on display in a showroom, at Palo Alto’s Stanford Shopping Center and in Los Angeles on Jan. 12.

The move was intended as the first step in a gradual rollout to Tesla showrooms across the country. And that rollout has now brought the Model 3 — Tesla’s bid for the mass market — to the Santana Row shopping complex in San Jose, and to its showroom at the Broadway Plaza  shopping center in Walnut Creek.

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The Model 3 starts at $35,000, but production of the car has suffered from delays, and Tesla is first manufacturing a $50,000 version with a longer-range battery said to allow the sedan to travel an estimated 310 miles on a charge, compared to 210 miles for the basic car.

According to Tesla, nearly half a million people have reserved Model 3s. But stated delivery targets have been twice delayed, and only a few thousand Model 3s at most have been put into owners’ hands. Tesla claims success in resolving production “bottlenecks,” however, and its most-recent target was to produce 5,000 of the vehicles per week by the end of June.

Auto-industry analyst George Peterson of research firm AutoPacific has attributed the Model 3 delays to Tesla biting off a lot to chew. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has in recent months promised an electric semi in 2019, a new and fantastically speedy version of its electric Roadster in 2020, a “Model Y” compact SUV tentatively scheduled to go into production in mid-2019, and a new electric pickup truck coming, according to Musk, “right after” the Model Y.

Each of the Bay Area locations where the Model 3 is displayed has one of the cars, and Tesla plans to keep the vehicles in its showrooms for the foreseeable future.



Photo: People check out the Tesla Model 3, at the electric sedan’s first appearance in a Tesla showroom, on Friday, Jan. 12 at Stanford Shopping
Center in Palo Alto. (Ethan Baron/Bay Area News Group)


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