Tesla Model 3 Accelerates Much Faster Than Advertised, But Production Still Lags Behind Elon Musk’s Goals

Tesla’s Model 3 vehicles have been unleashed onto the roads, so drivers have been posting reviews about their experiences. One observation that’s been made so far is that the mass-market electric vehicle goes from 0 to 60 mph faster than Tesla advertised.

Popular automotive YouTube channel, Drag Times, made the realization when they tested the Model 3 with a VBOX so they could gauge the acceleration. They measured both the 0-60 mph acceleration and the quarter mile time. The Tesla Model 3 zoomed past the quarter-mile mark in 13.376 seconds at 103 mph. As Electrek notes, Tesla never advertised the Model 3’s quarter mile time, so this is the new benchmark.

But Tesla did say that the mass-market electric sedan will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 in 5.1 seconds. The guys at Drag Times shaved five seconds off that time when they tested the vehicle.

Although it could be a case of underpromising and overdelivering, this is good news for Tesla. Its mass-market electric vehicle project has had its fair share of ups and downs. As Futurism reports, Tesla’s report on their 2017 Q4 production and deliveries states that they delivered 1,550 Model 3’s from October to December. This is slightly more than half of what investors were told to expect. The 860 electric sedans that were shipped to owners at the end of the quarter will be added to 2018’s Q1 tally.

Elon Musk’s goal was to gradually increase their production rate until they could produce 20,000 units per month in December. They failed to meet that goal. Musk admitted at one point that the project was mired in the fifth circle of a “production hell” and they seemed to be taking steps to address that. Many thought that the acquisition of Perbix Machine Company, a specialist in automated manufacturing equipment, was a notable move in the right direction. But production still lagged behind the high expectations that Musk had set.

There has been some speculation that the bad press and production lags now associated with the Model 3 could become an irreparable chink in Tesla’s armor. But others aren’t so sure that it will be a nail in the premium EV manufacturer’s coffin.

“I wouldn’t suggest that Tesla is failing. It is just that [Elon Musk’s] expectations are unrealistically high,” said Alain L. Kornhauser, chair of the Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (PAVE) research group in an interview with Futurism.

Musk has been known to use stretch goals to motivate his team, i.e. he sets a big, seemingly unrealistic target and pushes employees to get there. This is a leadership strategy meant to encourage teams to exceed their perceived boundaries. So, perhaps the current Model 3 production schedule has gone beyond his actual expectations. If that’s true, we suspect he’ll never tell.

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