UDATE: April 1 The number of reservations for the Model 3 is now approaching 200,000!
Model 3 orders at 180,000 in 24 hours. Selling price w avg option mix prob $42k, so ~$7.5B in a day. Future of electric cars looking bright!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 1, 2016
The Tesla Model 3 smashed all records yesterday by getting more than 135,000 reservations the first day. Does it seem like it’s all Tesla, all the time around here lately? It seems that way to us, too. But in a world where the other companies are bragging about a new design for their emergency brake handle or a new front hood ornament, Tesla is where the action is. How can you ignore a company that recorded that many reservations in one day for a car that won’t even start production until 18 months from now?
Earlier this week, the speculation was that Tesla might get 100,000 reservations for the Model 3. A lot of us thought that was optimistic. We thought maybe 50,000 was a more credible guesstimate. But then the photos started coming in from around the world of hundreds lined up in front of Tesla stores in Australia, Europe, and the United States. By the time it was all over, Tesla had booked more than $4 billion in potential new business. You can bet there is gloom in the air in boardrooms from Stuttgart to Detroit to Tokyo this morning.
Those are the same people who hooted in derision when Elon Musk and Tesla first suggested they were going to change the world of transportation. “Ridiculous!” they said. People don’t want electric cars. There’s no place to plug them in and who has time to wait for them to charge? Then the Model S came along and started outselling such luxury stalwarts as the Mercedes S Class, the Audi A8, and the BMW 7 Series, even in Germany. Unthinkable!
It’s equally unthinkable that Tesla could now turn itself into a mainstream automaker, selling electric cars that are priced about the same as a fully optioned Camry, Accord, or Sonata. But the numbers don’t lie. 135,000 people say they want one and are willing to plunk down a $1,000 deposit years in advance to get one.
Yesterday, the mood outside all those Tesla stores was jovial as people celebrated the dawn of a new era in transportation. It was like Woodstock all over again but for grownups this time. Elon Musk and his merry band say they are on a mission to save the world from fossil fuel. The evidence from yesterday indicates their wildly extravagant and improbable dream just got a lot closer to reality.