(Couresty of Elon Musk, via Twitter)

Elon Musk scores Tesla's first $35K Model 3 for his birthday, tweets pics


Last year, 400,000 stylish environmentalists plunked down $1,000 deposits for Tesla's long-awaited "affordable" Model 3, which has begun rolling off the production line this week.

Six-figure Teslas have wheeled themselves into the Bay Area landscape and supercharger stations have sort of become ultra-chic hangouts, with businesses scrambling to sweep up rental properties shouldering the next-gen gas stations. But alas, the sticker price on Elon Musk's battery-powered ideations is still out of reach for most of us—Tesla's original Master Plan never aimed to market the Model S and Model X to the frugal masses, after all.

But now Prius owners can actually consider trading up: The Model 3, priced starting at $35,000 (before generous local and national tax deductions), hopes to sway a new crop of daily drivers to ditch the pump entirely.

In a series of tweets Musk sent out Friday, we got a glimpse of the first Model 3 fresh off the factory lot.

Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis was the first person to shell out the full deposit for a Model 3, and, therefore, had rights to the first production unit the company would produce. But Ehrenpreis later opted to gift his bespoke Model 3 to Tesla's billionaire founder as a present on his 46th birthday.

The coveted mid-priced car is scheduled for a slow rollout, with just 30 being issued at the official launch later this month and just 100 more by the end of the summer. Tesla plans to produce about 20,000 Model 3s per month by December this year.

Intrigued by the thought of parking an affordably priced, zero emissions vehicle in your garage? Learn more about the 215-mile range industry game-changer on the company's website, and decide for yourself if you're ready to say "sayonara" to the combustion engine.

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