After seeing hundreds of clickbait sites on Facebook pimping terrible renders, the world finally got its first look at Tesla's most affordable model to date, the. Yesterday, we reported that Tesla stores the world over had long lines filled with prospective owners hoping to reserve a car. But we didn't realize just how popular it would be.
Tesla had a rolling counter of its reservations behind the Model 3 last night, and per the latest picture we took, the Californian automaker had taken at least 133,000, which cost $1,000 each. Electrek claims that number is now as high as 150,000. Tesla did not yet respond to a request for a more up-to-date figure.
The reservation, which is refundable, basically earns you a spot in the production line. Deliveries won't start until late next year, and it's not unreasonable to believe that some folks will back out before then.
Regardless, 150,000 reservations means Tesla picked up $150 million in the course of a single day. That's one hell of an interest-free loan, and hopefully it will go towards building up the company's manufacturing to where it can meet this sort of insane demand. But if all promises are met, Tesla could turn that money into $4 billion worth of cars -- that's if all Model 3s are sold at the $35,000 estimated base price.
If Tesla can build the Model 3 at the same rate it's currently building the Model S, this many reservations will eat through the first two years of its production run. Let's hope these folks are in it for the long haul.
Update, 2:32 p.m. Eastern: Well, it appears the number is even higher than 150,000. Elon Musk just tweeted (twote?) that Tesla is very close to receiving 200,000 orders. Now I really hope you like waiting.
Update, 7:48 p.m. Eastern: We've seen an internal memo sent by Elon Musk to the Tesla team praising them for creating "the most revolutionary car in a century." Musk also said that Tesla has set a record for the "highest single day sales of any product of any kind ever in world history." Our fact-checkers will be working overtime this weekend looking into that one -- and arguing about whether pre-sales count as sales.