Pre-orders surge for Tesla's $35,000 electric car

Apr 01, 2016, 3:19 PM EDT
Tesla Model S_3
(Source: hans-johnson/flickr)

Pre-orders surged for Tesla's newly unveiled $35,000 Model 3 electric car, sending the stock up.

ABC News writes:

Tesla's lower-priced Model 3 sedan is the car that could help the company turn the corner and become a key player in the burgeoning market for mid-priced electric vehicles, according to industry experts. Even before Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, showed off the mid-sized sedan Thursday night, more than 115,000 pre-orders -- carrying with them a $1,000 deposit -- were placed for the new vehicle. During the unveiling inside a SpaceX hangar in Hawthorne, California, a ticker showed in real-time how many more orders were being placed by people eager to be among the first to drive the $35,000 Model 3. The first challenge will be delivering vehicles on time. Musk said he feels "confident" the company will meet its goal of delivering the first Model 3 vehicles in late 2017. "The electric vehicle market is getting more and more crowded and as the months go by, there will be more competition from major manufacturers, so time is of the essence," Nerad said. "I think based on their history, they are not noted for exactly hitting the mark right on the money in terms of delivery, so I think there are some concerns about that and some of those pre-orders will fall away because of that."

CNN Money notes:

"We don't make slow cars," CEO Elon Musk said at the car's unveiling, adding that these are minimum specs the company hopes to exceed. "You will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000, or even close, even if you get no options," he said later. Musk said the Model 3 will seat five comfortably, and he emphasized "comfortably." After the launch event at the automaker's Southern California design studio, Tesla executives gave guests brief rides in prototype Model 3 cars. The vehicle does, in fact, seat at least four people comfortably. Five would probably be a squeeze.The windshield and back window nearly touch, leaving only a narrow bar of actual roof to separate them, which makes for a nearly complete view of the sky over occupants' heads. There is no gauge cluster in front of the driver, only air-conditioning vents. A rectangular touchpad screen mounted on the dashboard between the front seats is the only information display. The car's speed is displayed in the upper left corner within easy view of the driver. The car I rode in was an all-wheel-drive dual-motor version which would cost more than $35,000, but also be more powerful that the base model. Acceleration was neck-strainingly quick, and the ride was -- as always with electric cars -- strangely quiet. Like the larger Model S, the Model 3 has a trunk and a "frunk," meaning there are large storage areas at both ends of the car. That gives it more storage space than any gasoline-powered car of similar size, Musk boasted.

Reuters reports:

An initial flurry of orders has put Tesla Motors' new Model 3 sedan off to a fast start, but the company may need to raise more cash if it hopes to deliver the new electric vehicle to customers on time, analysts said on Friday. Tesla's stock price bounced around $237 in afternoon trading after opening at nearly $248, the highest mark in six months. Up to Thursday's close, Tesla stock had soared 60 percent since hitting a 12-month low in February. Chief Executive Elon Musk's ambitious plans include launching the Model 3, Tesla's first mass-market car, in late 2017 and boosting the company's annual production tenfold to 500,000 by 2020. But there are concerns among some investors in Tesla, which has promised to turn profitable this year, even after the hoopla and exuberance surrounding the unveiling late on Thursday of a Model 3 prototype. On Friday, Musk said the company had taken orders for 198,000 Model 3s in the first 24 hours. Analysts questioned how long it could take to deliver those cars after the slower-than-expected launch of the company's Model X sport utility vehicle late last year.