Tesla officially launches the Model 3

The electric car company shows off their shiny new model—and hopes it will one day change the way people drive
Tesla model 3 Brand new Model 3s in production at the Tesla factory. Neat-o! (Courtesy of Tesla)

The electric car. It's still rare enough to be an unusual sight on today's roads. And yet they are becoming more common every year. Cars like the Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius Prime, and Chevrolet Bolt are slowly but surely giving people a chance to drive out their gas-free dreams. As long as you have a driver's license, of course.

The Chevrolet Bolt being shown off at the Seoul Motor Show in March 2017. (Getty Embed)

These cars are compact, practical, and green (as in environmentally-friendly, though you can probably get one in the colour green, too!).

But when you talk about making electric cars cool, there's only one car company anyone talks about. Tesla.

Tesla's Model S is its feature vehicle. It's also pretty expensive. (Getty Embed)

Sure, Tesla makes super cool and speedy cars, but their Model S is also super expensive (starting at around $80,000 CDN!). Most people can't afford them. Meaning that if the age of the electric car is really coming, it will be thanks to companies like Nissan and Chevrolet, not Tesla.

That was, however, before the Tesla Model 3.

Model 3, for you and me?

Introducing the Model 3. (Getty Embed)

Last night in California, Tesla held a big party. The reason? After a year of hype, they were finally handing over the keys to the first 30 Model 3s. And why is this car a big deal?

The Model 3 is Tesla's first attempt at a mass-market car, also known as a car that more people can afford. So while $35,000 CDN may not sound super cheap (hey, that's still a lot of money!), it is about the same price as other electric cars like the Leaf and Bolt. It is a four-door car that seats five and has many of the features of more expensive Teslas.

All of this means that Musk and the folks at Tesla are hoping that their cars can become something that truly changes how people drive. Will it work?

Lots of preorders... but lots more gas cars on the road

People lining up to preorder the Model 3. (Getty Embed)

The car is off to a good start. Since it was announced in March 2016, Tesla has received 400,000 preorders (Woo!) for Model 3s. These people won't be getting their cars all at once, but considering that before the Model 3 arrived, Tesla was only selling around 23,000 cars a year, it's a big jump.

Meanwhile, Swedish car company Volvo recently announced that by 2019, all of its new car models will be either fully electric or a hybrid (partially electric-powered). And all across North America and the world, more and more charging networks are being built (think of them as gas stations for electric cars).

So has gas run out of, er, gas?

Well, not yet. There are still far more gas vehicles being made in the world, never mind all of the gas cars that people already own. But advances like this one make the dream of a fully electric highway a little bit closer to becoming a reality one day.

Are you and your family excited by electric cars?

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