Tesla Nabs 180,000 Model 3 Reservations, And The Car Isn’t Even Available Yet

Apr 01, 2016

Tesla's $35,000 electric car won't be delivered for at least another year. But that didn't stop crowds from lining up on Thursday and shelling out the cash to reserve their spot on the waiting list for one (or two) of the company's new Model 3.

Around 180,000 people plunked down the $1,000 deposit for the car both in lines and online, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a tweet Friday. And drivers probably won't even wrap their hands around the steering wheels until 2018.

Some would-be owners camped out overnight to secure their spot on the reservation list, standing in lines hundreds deep Thursday before they ever laid eyes on the vehicle. Tesla CEO Elon Musk reminded the enthusiasts that reservations were limited to two apiece:

Then Thursday night, Musk unveiled the new Model 3 to about 800 people at an event just outside Los Angeles (complete with DJ and open bar).

Check out Fortune's Live Blog From The Tesla Model 3 Event.

The new $35,000 car, the first Tesla aimed at a mass-market audience, looks a lot like the more expensive $80,000-plus models the company usually sells:

Tesla Model 3 Tesla 

The sedan seats 5, and can travel 215 miles on a charge, Tesla says. It also has two trunks and Musk assures it will fit your 7-foot long surfboard.

But the company is still ramping up its massive Gigafactory in Nevada, the spot where the company mass-produces the batteries that power these cars. Tesla says it hopes the factory will eventually push out about 500,000 batteries a year, making cheaper electric cars possible.

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To date, Tesla has sold about 100,000 cars, the Wall Street Journal reports. So Tesla has its work cut out when it comes to building the 180,000 new Model 3s.

“Deliveries will be next year. I feel fairly confident it will be next year,” Musk said at the unveiling Thursday night in California. The crowd laughed.

Update 4/1 12:30 pm E.T.: This story has been updated with the latest numbers on Model 3 reservations.

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