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If you’re wondering about the transportation of the future, Elon Musk is pretty much your guy. He’s got the most advanced electric cars, ever-improving self-driving tech and this whole ‘hyperloop‘ idea looks super cool. For most of us though, the Tesla is something to admire from afar rather than actually consider buying. Electric cars don’t come cheep. With the new Tesla Model 3 though, the company is bringing that coveted technology to a much wider (and less affluent) demographic.

This newest Tesla model is the most affordable ever and could be the first step toward changing the automotive landscape. The car starts at $35,000 USD (about $44,500 CAD). To put that in perspective, a 2018 Honda Civic has a starting price of $30,000 CAD and a C-class Mercedes-Benz starts at $44,000. Considering that previous models were in the $70,000 to $120,000 range, that’s a huge price decrease. It may be a little pricey for a first car, but it could be downright affordable for a middle-class family.

And it’s about time. A number of European countries, including France and Britain, have announced legislation that will ban the production of fossil fuel-powered cars by the year 2040. Automotive journalist Kunal D’Souza, says that 2040 might be a little ambitious, but convincing the public that electric is a viable option for them is the first step to making this shift. Price has always been a big factor for people considering E-cars, but now that Tesla seems to have that covered, range is the most prevalent anxiety.

‘Battery vehicles just don’t have the range that people are looking for,’ D’Souza told Your Morning, ‘Range anxiety is a big issue that still plagues us… [Tesla] does have a lot of super-charging stations, say, on the route from Toronto to Montreal. You’d be able to drive, but it would take you much longer than it would in a normal car.’ Electric cars take a few hours to charge fully, something you don’t have to consider when your gas-powered car takes about 30 seconds to refuel.

Tesla made the first step by offering a car that more of the population could afford (which is a pretty big deal), but the next step sits with governments. Yes, Tesla has their own power-charging stations, but in order to change the public aversion to electric cars, there needs to be more infrastructure to support them. We need charging stations to be as common as gas stations and cover remote areas. You don’t want your car to run out of charge while you’re at the cottage in the bush or driving across the prairies.

The auto industry won’t change completely overnight, but we’re finally seeing that price-decrease that people have been waiting for. Now Tesla just needs to manage that ever-growing waiting list.

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