Tesla started delivering the Model 3 in July 2017 to the nearly 400,000 people who ordered one. At that time, Elon Musk promised to build around 1,500 in September, 20,000 this month, and up to 10,000 a week later in 2018. Suffice to say, that didn't happen -- not even close. By the beginning of October, the company had produced just 260 cars, reportedly because of Gigafactory battery production issues and other problems.
Things have picked up since, with large numbers of Model 3s reportedly spotted at delivery centers. On top of that, suppliers recently reported that Tesla has increased its demand for parts for up to 5,000 vehicles per week. If Tesla holds to that, it will just be a month or two behind its original schedule. Still, last quarter it produced a record 25,336 vehicles over three months (mostly Model S and Model X EVs), so 20,000 Model 3s in a single month would be a big leap.
Lucky for us, other manufacturers will be selling other new or updated EVs next year, including Chevy, Nissan, Jaguar and Audi. Here's the best of what you'll be able to buy next year:
Chevy wants to sell about 30,000 Bolts a year and, after some early stumbles, it's getting on track. Last month it sold nearly 3,000, and that will likely build to more than 20,000 by the end of 2017. While it's not the sexiest of EVs, Engadget and most other reviewers really, really like the Bolt. That's because it's a fun, sporty and spacious little car that can go farther than you'd expect on a charge (up to 238 miles, to be exact). For 2018, the vehicle will be largely unchanged, but it remains an excellent option.
The 2018 Leaf may not have quite the range of a Bolt or a Tesla Model 3, but it's cheaper and can still go around 150 miles, enough for a decent mid-range trip. And having launched the Leaf in 2010, Nissan knows how to build electric cars. For buyers next year, there's a bonus: its Pro Pilot driver assist is now here.
If you have more cash to spend, BMW's $48,300 i3 combines futuristic styling with the sporty fun you'd expect from the automaker. This year, a new range extender brought the maximum trip on a charge to 90 miles, enough for comfortable city driving or short trips. In 2018, it's bringing a Sport version with quicker acceleration and, more importantly, the new TurboCord EV Charger, with faster charging if you hook it up to a 240-volt power supply.
VW has been talking a lot about its I.D. electric vehicles, including the Buzz and the Crozz, but those won't be built until 2020 at the earliest. If you want a real, if somewhat boring, EV from VW in 2018, the e-Golf will be it. Next year's model will reportedly have a realistic 186-mile range, making it a much more practical car than this year's model, which goes around 125 miles.