Model 3 electric cars handed to buyers 

Company has over half a million advance reservations


Reuters July 30, 2017
The new vehicle has over half a million advance reservations. PHOTO: REUTERS

FREMONT: Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said the Model 3 had over half a million advance reservations as he handed over the first 30 to employee buyers, setting the stage for the biggest test yet of the company’s strategy to become a profitable, mass market electric car maker. Outside Tesla’s Fremont, California factory, Musk showed off the $35,000 base vehicle with a range of 220 miles (350 km) on a charge that marks a departure from the company’s earlier luxury electric cars. Hours before the event, Musk acknowledged it would be “quite a challenge” to build the car during the early days of production. “We’re going to go through at least six months of manufacturing hell,” Musk told journalists. The over half a million reservations are up from about 373,000 disclosed in April 2016. Customers pay $1,000 refundable deposits for the car, which is eligible for tax credits. Any new buyers would likely not receive their car until the end of 2018, Musk said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2017.

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