Tesla Model 3 Going on Display at Palo Alto Showroom

Tesla model 3

Tesla has struggled to keep up with its Model 3 production

The first ones are showing up at Tesla's California retail locations in the Los Angeles suburb of Century City, and Palo Alto in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The company is also hiring beyond the approximately 500 employees who are now working on the site.

The base price for a Model 3 is $35,000. The Palo Alto electric vehicle maker would not comment further.

Visitors to Tesla's store in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto and Century City Mall in Los Angeles, core markets for first Model 3 deliveries, will have the opportunity to view, sit in, and experience the much-talked-about mass-market electric vehicle.

In the Stanford Shopping Center showroom, the single vehicle on display is a $50,000 premium version with add-ons including a long-range battery allowing for an estimated 310-mile range, compared to the 210 miles for the basic auto.

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The debut immediately struck a chord among attendees of a private event held at Tesla's retail store on Thursday evening, with many enthusiasts posting photos of the Model 3 on social media.

Since the auto first hit the market, almost a half million cars have been reserved, according to Tesla, but far, far fewer have hit the roads, thanks to production problems.

Tesla delivered 1,770 Model 3s to buyers in the second half of 2017, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, but production and delivery have been far slower than CEO Elon Musk projected. By actively featuring the Model 3 in two of its showrooms in California, Tesla seems to be making a very bold statement - one that suggests that the company is now confident it can scale the compact electric car's production to address the overwhelming demand for the vehicle. Tesla said they'd create 1,460 jobs, and other suppliers and service providers could create 1,440 jobs in the region.

Incidentally, Tesla also says Panasonic's Heterojunction Intrinsic Thin Film (HIT) PV modules have been being made at the site since last summer. "But it'd personally work in our favor since we're not in a hurry to purchase another vehicle, and hopefully production issues will improve over time". University of MI researchers have just published a report concluding that across the US, the average annual cost of fueling a gas-powered vehicle is $1,117, while power for an electric vehicle costs $485.

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