PALO ALTO, Calif—A week after Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model 3 reveal, pre-orders for the automaker’s new economically-priced electric vehicle have topped 325,000, according to the company’s CEO, Elon Musk—surely exceedingly even the high-profile auto chief’s wildest expectations.
“Definitely going to need to rethink production planning,” Musk Tweeted last Friday, when the orders exploded out of the gate and stood just short of 200,000.
Thousands more customers have since put down a $1,000 deposit on the automaker’s Model 3, which comes with a $35,000 price tag and has a range of 215 miles per charge.
With an affordable price tag—at least drastically more affordable than any of its previous vehicles—Tesla is looking to transition from a niche automaker to a company capable of taking on the mass market. Most of the traditional American automakers have launched forays into the EV space, and tech companies such as Google and Apple are also aiming to enter the booming industry.
As the order pour in, Tesla will be saddled with a significant manufacturing challenge. Since the Palo Alto, Calif. company began operations in 2008 it has sold just 110,000 vehicles. Investors, however, remain confident; Tesla shares have climbed more than 10 per cent over March 30.