The Tesla Model 3 EV – Tesla’s new compact executive EV – has garnered 250k orders in its first 48 hours, worth an astonishing £7 BILLION.
It’s only 48 hours since the Tesla Model 3 – Tesla’s compact executive volume take on the bigger Model S – was revealed, and orders are going through the roof, despite Tesla acknowledging it will be the end of 2017 before the first customers get their cars (and Tesla’s delivery dates are notoriously ‘flexible’).
Elon Musk’s last tweet on the subject was 12 hours ago, and at that point they’d already seen 232k orders for the Model 3 – up from 198k seven hours before – so although we’re calling 250k orders for the Model 3 it’s probably more than that already.
Buyers have to put down a (refundable) $1k deposit to place an order, so Tesla has already raked in a quarter of a billion dollars in 48 hours on deposits alone – which must be some sort of record?
But looking past the euphoria of more sales of electric cars in 48 hours than in all of previous history (well, it has to be close?), how on earth are Tesla going to build so many cars so quickly?
True, Tesla will have some helpful additional funding from the deposits which should help get things moving, but if orders continue to grow at anything like the initial rate, Tesla will have to stop taking orders until they at least start to make inroads in the initial demand.
The Tesla facility is big enough to deal with production (we assume), but it has nothing like the capacity needed as the moment. In fact, Tesla built just 50,000 cars in 2015, and that figure appears to have been dictated as much by capacity as demand. And what about batteries for all those new Model 3s?
Tesla are busy creating a Gigafactory that will produce enough batteries for 500,000 cars, but that level of production isn’t scheduled to be in place until 2020. Just how quickly that could start to produce enough batteries is completely unknown.
It’s a nice problem for Tesla to have, but it’s going to take all of Elon Musk’s nouce to hold it all together and make a decent fist of substantial deliveries before buyers give up and buy something else.
Tesla are in for a proper roller-coaster ride. But Elon Musk probably wouldn’t have it any other way.