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Tesla unveils Model 3 sedan to woo the masses

Tesla Motors launched the electric car Thursday night that it hopes will be a leap forward for the car-buying masses.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk guaranteed that the car will seat five, clear the best safety marks and have a range of at least 215 miles a charge. And while its performance won't be nearly as remarkable as its larger sibling, the super-luxury Model S, it will be notable: Zero to 60 miles per hour in less than 6 seconds.

Musk said that the Model 3 will be priced at $35,000, about half the cost of its two present models, the Model S sedan and Model X crossover. The car is believed to be critical in Tesla's first attempt to attract average car buyers into the electric-car experience.

Initial reaction to the car seemed favorable. Queues formed outside Tesla showrooms around the country where customers were given a choice to make reservations for a refundable $1,000. Musk announced the figures had reached 115,000 by the time the car was revealed.

Model 3 cars will start shipping to customers in late 2017, says Musk.

Experts say they are hoping for many different versions of the Model 3, some fancier than others and in the process, it could experience price steal.

In another positive for the Model 3, Musk says it will have free entree to Tesla's Supercharger network, which will be expanded. Superchargers are high speed recharging divisions, both in cities and on major highways, which provide for intercity travel.