On Friday, Tesla starts to sell cars that don't cost a fortune

Until now, you needed to fork out $70,000 to get a base model Tesla.

Tesla, the status symbol carmaker of the electric age, is finally making a car that won't break the bank to buy.

Founder Elon Musk announced on Monday his company's new Model 3 has passed all the required regulatory checks. Tesla will start taking orders for them on Friday, with the first cars arriving July 28.

With prices of its other models starting at around $70,000 and rising well into six figures, Teslas have predominantly been a car for the well-off.

The Model 3 will be significantly more affordable for environmentally-conscious road users, with its $35,000 sticker price reduced to $27,500 after federal electric car tax credits.

Production of the Model 3 will ramp up as the year goes on and Musk expects 20,000 per month to be rolling off the production line by December.

It will be Tesla's first mass-production model, with Musk ambitiously setting a target of building 500,000 vehicles in 2018 – that's more than 40,000 a month. NPR notes Tesla only built 25,000 in the entire first quarter of 2017.

The five-seater Model 3 promises 215 miles of range on a single charge, with owners recharging their cars at home or stopping of at one of Tesla's super charging stations during journeys if required.

It'll be slightly cheaper than what will probably be its closest competitor, the Chevy Bolt. The Bolt also has 200-plus miles of range and started retailing at $37,495 (which is $29,995 after the tax credit).

Tesla recently announced it would be adding four more super charging stations in Minnesota, to go with the seven it already has.

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