Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk showed off his company’s new Tesla Model 3 sedan in Hawthorne, California the evening of March 31, a car he promised would cost $35,000 US, accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in less than six seconds, and boast a range of at least 350 km (215 miles) per charge.

Musk has said that price tag excluded government-issued ‘green car’ rebates, some of which are worth several thousand dollars, and confirmed he was “fairly confident” the Model 3 would begin deliveries to customers next year.p>

He also explained the five-passenger car has been designed to net five-star crash ratings in every test; that it would come standard with the semi-autonomous “Autopilot” hardware now being fitted to some Model S sedans; and that in the 24 hours prior to the unveiling, Tesla had already collected 115,000 deposits of $1000 each from customers looking to pre-order the Model 3.

The number of pre-orders is made more impressive by the fact Musk had earlier tweeted about the fact the ‘production car’ unveiled could actually change significantly in the 18 months it takes to get to market. Musk implied that those changes should be mostly to do things like improve the range beyond the 350 km (215 miles) offered by the base car; and develop even faster versions than the entry-level six-second zero-to-100 km/h car.

During the unveiling, held at a Tesla facility in Hawthorne but streamed live online globally, Musk also noted the Model 3 would come standard with the company’s super-fast supercharging; and that it’d be doubling the number of chargers installed to 7,200 by the end of next year.

He expects production to exceed 500,000 units per year – a far cry from the 500-a-year runs of Tesla Roadsters the company started out building; and said the “giga-factory” in which the cars were assembled would produce more lithium-ion batteries than all other such battery factories combined.