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You Can Now Buy A Tesla For The Price Of A Mazda

Keen to get behind the wheel of a Tesla? It's now more affordable than you'd think.

Elon Musk has taken the world by storm with his fleet of electric vehicles, but for most, the Tesla line has been out of their price range. Not any more.

Tesla has announced a new version of its Model 3 will be available for a touch under AUD$50,000 -- making it more affordable than many types of more affordable vehicles currently on Australian roads. The carmaker is lowering costs by moving all of its sales online and closing down most of its brick-and-mortar retail stores.

"We are incredibly excited to announce that the standard Model 3, with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds is now available at [US]$35,000," Tesla said in a statement.

"Although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version, which has the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the U.S. Government."

Tesla has also announced a new Model 3 Standard Range Plus, with 240 miles -- 386 kilometres -- of range on a single charge, and a top speed of 225km per hour will be available for just a little more.

"To achieve these prices while remaining financially sustainable, Tesla is shifting sales worldwide to online only," the company said.

"Shifting all sales online, combined with other ongoing cost efficiencies, will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about six percent on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point earlier than we expected."

"Over the next few months, we will be winding down many of our stores, with a small number of stores in high-traffic locations remaining as galleries, showcases and Tesla information centres."

The company is so keen to let people buy online, that they're spruiking a feature that allows customers to buy a car online "in about one minute".

That feature will "soon be extended worldwide", Tesla said.

Tesla is also letting American customers take their cars on long test drives and return them for free.

"You can now return a car within seven days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free," the company said.