I contacted a Tesla service adviser earlier today to ask some basic questions about my Model 3 reservation. The call was less than encouraging. Beside answering every question with "I don't know", I got the distinct impression that base model buyers "need not apply".
After learning that I'm waiting for the standard range model, he quickly advised me that my $1000 deposit is fully refundable. Wait, what? I didn't ask about canceling my order? That's weird. I asked approximately when the standard range model might be available.
"Early, mid, or late 2019?"
"I don't know."
After Elon's tweet this morning, I'm becoming more and more skeptical that the standard range car will ever see the light of day. In case you haven't read it, here it is.
"With production, 1st you need achieve target rate & then smooth out flow to achieve target cost. Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die. Need 3 to 6 months after 5k/wk to ship $35k Tesla & live."
I don't know about you, but when the CEO of a car company starts talking about the company dying if it makes a product, I get a bit worried.
I have a feeling IF the base model does make it into the hands of actual owners, it will be a software limited version of the long range battery - and very, very short lived. Get 'em while (if) you can!