Tesla Model 3 Reservations Top 276,000, Musk Says

Stunning numbers for electric car not due until late 2017.

Image: Aaron Muszalski

Reservations for Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model 3 electric car have now topped 276,000 since the company began taking deposits on March 31.

The figure is staggering and could represent both an evolution for Tesla TSLA, -3.23% and for electric cars. Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave an update on reservations on Twitter late Saturday evening, after updating the figure several times since Thursday evening’s unveiling of the prototype Model 3, due out in late 2017.

The Model 3 is a sedan capable of seating five and going 215 miles on a charge and 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds, starting at a price of $35,000.

To give a sense on the scale of the backlog, BMW sold about 95,000 3-series sedans in 2015 in the U.S. The Model 3 is roughly the same size and price and would likely outsell the U.S.’s best-selling compact luxury car in its first year of production if Tesla can make enough cars.

The 276,000 reservations equates to an $11.6 billion backlog of orders, based on Musk’s assessment that the average Model 3 would cost about $42,000 with options. Last year, Tesla’s global revenues were about $4 billion.

Musk gave more details in a series of tweets Sunday:

276k Model 3 orders by end of Sat
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016

A Model 3 order gives you priority in your geography, so, even tho total count is high, ordering early will make a big difference locally.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016

Model 3 will be RWD, with dual motor AWD optional. Even RWD will have great traction on ice due to fast torque response of Tesla drivetrain.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016

And, of course, it will have more cowbells.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016

Source: MarketWatch.com