Tesla received over 320,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 in the first week. That means the production run will be worth an estimated US$14 billion.
CEO Elon Musk confirmed the news in a tweet sent Thursday, noting only five per cent of customers ordered two vehicles.
Tesla received more than 276,000 orders for the lower-priced vehicle in just 48 hours — a number which Musk himself was surprised by.
According to Musk, the Model 3 – which isn’t expected to go into production until the end of 2017 – will sell for an average of US$42,000 with upgrades and additional features, despite a base price of US$35,000.
With such a low price tag — before U.S. and Candian government incentives — the Model 3 is less than half the cost of Tesla’s previous models. The car will go at least 215 miles (345 kilometres) when fully charged, about double what drivers get from current competitors in its price range, such as the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.
The Model 3 has a panoramic glass roof and an elongated hood, seats five adults and has the same large touchscreen dashboard as other Tesla models. It also has Tesla’s suite of semi-autonomous driving features, including automatic lane changing and lane keeping. Not to mention it will accelerate from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in less than six seconds.
WATCH: Tesla hopes strong Model 3 orders are a sign of what’s to come
Analysts have, however, cast doubt the company will be able to fill all of the initial Model 3 orders. According to Reuters, some estimate the initial 250,000 orders could take until 2020 to produce.
The company already has a reputation for coming up short on production promises. In November 2014, Tesla delayed production of its Model X crossover, which was originally slated for release in early 2014. Tesla didn’t start deliveries of the vehicle until late 2015.
– With files from The Associated Press