In just two days, more than a quarter million people clamored to buy Tesla’s first affordable electric car – a response so beyond the company’s expectations that it is racing to meet demand.
Company founder Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla 3 on Friday and 48 hours later, 276,000 people had plunked down a refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve one of the cars.
Though its range is 215 miles between charges and it is speedy— going from 0-to-60 in six seconds—it may be slow getting to consumers.
Even though Musk was caught off-guard by demand, he is confident the first cars will be delivered by the end of next year.
Definitely going to need to rethink production planning...— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 1, 2016
The sleek sedan features a glass roof that blends into the rear windshield. Its dashboard is devoid of instruments, relying on a tablet mounted between driver and front-seat passenger to feed the driver information–but only if there is a driver.
Each Tesla 3 features the hardware for “Autopilot,” the company’s self-driving feature. When local laws allow self-driving cars, activating it will come with an additional $3,000 cost.
“My commute is 63 miles each way and I work 10 hour days,” Erin Mullen, one of the people who paid a deposit for a Model 3, told Good News Network. “Cutting my gas bill would be awesome, and having the safety features of a self-driving car for a long drive home would be ‘awesomer.’”
The huge demand is expected to prompt an increase in the number of charging stations for cars around the U.S. easing consumer concerns about getting stranded. Tesla is already building solar powered “Supercharger” stations to power the cars for free — and with minimal environmental impact.
(WATCH the video below from Bloomberg, or READ more at Financial Times) — Photo: Tesla Motors
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