Only several days after his latest announcement reassuring the market that his company’s newest mass-production electric car was coming, Elon Musk alerted social media this Sunday yet again, this time with definitive news. The mass-market Tesla Model 3 electric car is ready to take on the world.

First revealed to the public in March last year, the Model 3 has been touted by proponents to be for general consumer electric automobiles what the Ford Model T had been for mass-produced gasoline-powered cars in the 20th Century. Several automobile shows and plenty of customer reservations later, the first run of Tesla’s latest electric cars have begun rolling out of the factory.

A wonderful birthday gift

The evening of Saturday July 8, Elon Musk posted pictures of the spanking new Tesla Model 3 to both Twitter and Instagram. The photographed car, a four-door sedan, was parked proudly in front of the Tesla production plant in Fremont, California. It is rather fitting that the car company’s visionary founder would get one of the first units off the production line, when Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis presented the car he had put down a full deposit on as a gift for Musk on the occasion of his 46th birthday.

According to Musk, the first 30 customers to reserve a Model 3 will be invited to a special Tesla event party this coming July 28, where they receive their cars will all pomp and celebration.

The company expects to have a hundred units coming out of the factory by August, which will be exponentially increased to 1,500 in September. By the time December rolls in, Tesla production will be at full clout with an expected 20,000 units in total. While impressive, that figure is but a drop in the bucket compared to the sheer number of pre-orders.

Getting a customer base early

Elon Musk first opened the door for pre-ordering the Model 3 electric car over a year ago, and within days over 300,000 eager customers shelled out a thousand dollars each in deposits to have their names added to a very long waiting list. Each unit of the Model 3 is priced at $35,000 which is the cheapest Tesla has ever offered for their cars.

The next cheapest on the company’s lineup, the Model S, is twice the price of a Model 3, thus reinforcing the similarity with the old Ford Model T in pushing the image of a truly affordable electric car. Tesla certainly needs to get as many consumers interested in going for the Model 3, the better to build a solid base against Volvo’s own venture into the electric automobile market, planned to happen sometime in 2019.