Tesla Model 3 release date, specs: Tesla likely to offer optional solar roof for upcoming vehicle

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Tesla is about to start production on the Model 3 next year, touted to be the most affordable Tesla car to date. Many who are in the market for a new car have already pre-ordered the vehicle, which is designed with the environment in mind as the Model 3 is said to run 215 miles on a single charge. Now, it appears as though the car will have more environment-friendly features as Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that they will likely offer an optional solar roof for the upcoming vehicle.

On Nov. 4, a Twitter user told Musk that people are misinterpreting his words about using in-house glass tech on the Model 3.

“They think you’ll embed solar panels in the roof!” added Twitter’s @John_Gardi. After a few minutes, Musk replied on the microblogging site and wrote, “We will probably offer that as an option.”

Another fan asked the CEO if a solar roof would be “super expensive,” to which Musk said, “No.”

One follower asked if there would be a point to this feature, pointing out that solar panels the size of a car roof could only generate about 5 kWh. Musk replied, “Unless we do a deployable solar shield like a retractable hard top.”

Meanwhile, a Model 3 prototype with a new steering wheel appeared at a Tesla party over the weekend. According to Electrek, the company hosted an event at a soccer stadium in San Jose on Saturday, Nov. 5, to celebrate the recent record quarter.

The site notes that the prototype appeared to be the same vehicle at the unveiling event last March, but the silver car now looks like it has a new steering wheel. It was reported that it could be a placeholder steering wheel until the final design makes its way to the Tesla 3, which Musk previously described as being “spaceship-like.”

The Tesla Model 3 starts at $35,000 and will be released in 2018.