The newest member of the Tesla lineup (pictured) went on sale hours before anyone outside of the company had seen it, but that didn’t stop future owners from excitedly lining up in front of Tesla stores in the United States and abroad in order to place a $1,000 deposit for the sedan. Some went as far as camping out overnight, sometimes in near-freezing temperatures or in the rain, in order to be assigned an early reservation number.
“As soon as I heard about Model 3 I decided to try and be one of the first worldwide to camp out. I thought if Tesla could work that hard to achieve what everyone said was impossible, I should at least do my part to try and get people’s attention,” explained Ian Pavelko, who spent two nights outside of the Tesla store in Montreal, Canada. A first-time Tesla owner, Pavelko told Digital Trends that the wait was well worth it.
Pavelko wasn’t alone. The Denver Post reports that “hundreds and hundreds of people” braved the snow in the Mile-High City to reserve a Model 3. Stores in Florida, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, and even Utah experienced similar crowds. Tesla was forced to limit orders to two per person.
Thought it would slow way down today, but Model 3 order count is now at 198k. Recommend ordering soon, as the wait time is growing rapidly.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 1, 2016
Tesla’s biggest market has historically been the United States, but the reveal of the Model 3 has helped the California-based automaker expand its presence on the other side of the pond. There were long lines outside of stores in major European cities, too, notably in Germany, in Sweden, and in Switzerland. Many motorists see the Model 3, which is expected to carry a base price of $35,000 before incentives are factored in, as the electric sedan that they’ve been waiting for.
“The Model 3 is the first affordable electric car with a decent range. People are scared of driving a car with a 60-mile range, and most people I met said “when they make a car that has a decent range and is affordable, I’ll buy one.” In my area many orders were placed by current S owners, too,” said Alexander Gabard, who put a deposit down on a Model 3 in Switzerland.
Buyers who reserved the Model 3 are still over a year away from kicking their gasoline habit. The first deliveries are tentatively scheduled for late 2017, but priority will be given to those who already own a Tesla and to motorists who live in California. If you drive a BMW and live in Maine, you might not receive your Model 3 until a few months into 2018.