Last night electric car-maker Tesla hosted a Model 3 “handoff” event for employees at its factory in Fremont, California, giving 30 select employees production-ready vehicles ahead of the car’s official launch in ... well, we’re still not quite sure when. Around 2,000 employees, along with press and other guests, gathered at the evening event to hear Tesla chief executive Elon Musk share more details about the long-awaited vehicle, which is Tesla’s first mass-market electric vehicle.
The night was Muskian (Musky? Musk-like? Quintessential Musk?): a few minutes past nine o’clock, Musk rolled up on stage in a red Model 3, talked about the challenges of mass-producing such a vehicle, showed the audience a chart to underscore the complexities of the supply chain, cracked a joke that the chart looked like the path of an intercontinental ballistic missile, and became emotional towards the end of his talk, thanking the customers who are still waiting for their cars. Later, Tesla’s Twitter account fired off a tweet that aligned the models S, 3, X alongside one another.
Members of the press, including myself, were given short rides in a Model 3. The lighting was terrible for photography, but fitting for a late-night car party. Servers passed around trays of small, decadent desserts. Along the edges of the small test drive area, people wearing Tesla jackets crowded around to snap photos and capture video clips of the car. Musk, at this point, was nowhere to be found, but there was an undercurrent of excitement in the crowd that lingered still. Some of them may not get a Model 3 for at least six to nine months. Some may never get one at all. But for a brief period on Friday night, no one seemed to mind.
Photography by Lauren Goode / The Verge