The Tesla Model 3 is the moment that the world is finally convinced that the electric car is the next logical step for the automotive industry.

At least, those are the hopes of Elon Musk’s company, which in a decade has transformed itself from a niche hypercar manufacturer into a hugely influence force in the automotive market. Priced far lower than its predecessors yet retaining their smooth, sleek lines, Tesla succeeded in building an affordable, fully-electric car that looks like the future of motoring.

It might be billed as a mass-market vehicle, but it retains the look and feel of a high-end sedan. The elegant windscreen-to-boot glass panel is a beautiful touch, while the interior sees the entire dashboard replaced with a slick horizontal 15-inch touchscreen panel. In releasing a more affordable version, Tesla hasn’t compromised overly on performance, with 0-60mph in six seconds, a choice of rear- and four-wheel drive and an exceptional range of 215 miles on a full charge.

 

Tesla Model 3 side 02

 

That said, everyday driving concerns have not been ignored with the Model 3. Musk claims the car will seat five adults ‘comfortably’, while the machine has been given a five-star safety rating across all categories. The Tesla Supercharging network – a key component to ensure the practicality of Tesla’s product – is set to grow significantly by the time the Model 3 hits the market, with 7,200 charging points expected by 2017.

At $35,000 (£25,000) it enters the market at a slightly higher price than the likes of the Chevrolet Bolt, but it can be driven for longer while being a significantly more eye-catching piece of machinery. Already, 115,000 people have signed up to receive a Tesla Model 3 when it goes into production next year – expect this number to soar significantly in the coming months.

 

Tesla Model 3 side

 

Elon Musk published his ‘masterplan’ for electric cars back in 2006; this launch sees the culmination of his grand plan for bringing such vehicles to the market. Future progress will no doubt involve the manufacturer bolster its range at both ends of the market: delivering high-end supercars alongside more affordable vehicles you want to use for your everyday driving activities. Tesla has thus far delivered on each of its promises – it wouldn’t be a surprise if this proved to be the point where electric automobiles become the new black.