Tesla Has 276,000 Model 3 Orders Already

That's $276M in the bank—and those orders could be worth $15 billion overall.

Tesla Model 3 Orders
Tesla Motors via AP

The Tesla Model 3 may have debuted only four days ago, but in that time, the electric car maker has received more than 276,000 pre-orders for their mass-market mid-sized sedan. If the number three wasn't Elon Musk's lucky number before, it probably is now.

That's not an anonymous rumor or some simpleton CNBC talking head's "expert analysis," either. That number comes direct from Musk himself, who presumably took a break from dancing around his living room with glee on April 3 to fire off a tweet revealing the magic number of Model 3 reservations.

Initial demand for the car has outstripped even Tesla's initial demands, with buyers lining up around the globe days in advance to place their order for the Model 3. Musk himself said via Twitter that he was shocked by the number of people who made camp in front of Tesla showrooms to log themselves in the order books.

Having more than 276,000 pre-orders in the books isn't just good for Musk's ego. Every one of those requires a cash deposit—the exact amount varies from region to region, but it tends to be in the ballpark of $1,000 USD. That means that, in the last four days, Tesla has received roughly $275 million in (admittedly refundable) customer deposits.

And if those figures haven't already blown your socks off, point your feet away from any fragile items before reading this next part. At a base price of $35,000, those 276,000 orders are theoretically worth $9.6 billion of cars. If the average price is around $42,000, as Musk has said he believes, the orders could be worth about $12 billion. And should the average price wind up closer to $60,000, as at least one Morgan Stanley analyst suggests, those orders are conceivably worth $15 billion.

There is one bit of bad news here, though—not for Tesla, but for potential buyers. The federal tax credits for zero-emission vehicles expire after an automaker sells 200,000 electric cars. Considering Tesla has already sold tens of thousands of vehicles, and will likely sell tens of thousands more before the Model 3 hits the streets in late 2017, many of those early adopters likely won't be eligible for the $7,500 tax break from Uncle Sam they might have been counting on.