Tesla’s Model 3 electric car has racked up rather impressive pre-order numbers that have exceeded expectations at the company.
The new, cheaper model – which has been priced Stateside at $35 000 (around R520 000, which will likely be less than the local retail price – has received 276 000 pre-orders in spite of the fact that it won’t be out until next year.
Tesla CEO and local boy done good, Elon Musk, took to Twitter at the weekend to note the rising pre-order figures with something approaching surprise. “Definitely going to need to rethink production planning…,” he tweeted.
The high pre-order numbers could mean that Tesla – at least in the short term – could become a victim of its own success. According to jalopnik.com, Tesla has only ever made 100,000 cars at any given time and the comparatively low production scale at its factories mean that some folk who pre-ordered a Model 3 may only receive it by 2020.
Following the unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 last week on Thursday, Musk also confirmed that the new Model 3 would be available for purchase in South Africa.
Adding several more countries to Model 3 order page tonight. Check for details, but will include India, Brazil, SA, SK, NZ, Sing & Ireland.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 31, 2016
This raises some interesting questions about how soon Tesla will put local infrastructure in place for refuelling and the like. After all, who would want to drop more than half-a-million rand on an electric car if there’s no way you can recharge it?
Right now, there’s been no news on the timeframe to put refuelling infrastructure in place or what the car will cost local consumers when it eventually arrives in South Africa. However, if you have a whopping chunk of change that’s burning a hole through your bank account, you can pre-order a Model 3 on Tesla’s website.