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Tesla Motors

Tesla made a crazy amount of money on a car that could take years to arrive

The company sold more than 276,000 Model 3 cars in two days of pre-orders but it could be 2018 or 2019 before it arrives.

PRE-ORDERS FOR TESLA Motors’ latest electric car has surpassed 276,000, despite it not being available until late next year at the earliest.

The number of Model 3 cars preordered is more than twice the amount of cars Tesla has sold in its 13-year history – the closest model to match it is the Model S which managed to cross the 100,000 sales mark at the end of 2015.

The base version costs $35,000, half the price of the two other cars it sells – the Model X and the Model S - meaning Tesla Motors could have made at least $9.6 billion (€8.4 billion) in pre-orders assuming all orders are honoured. And at the very least, it has made $276 million thanks to the $1,000 deposit required for each order.

And that figure could be higher if the average amount spent was $42,000, something its CEO Elon Musk suggested after its first day.

The company didn’t expect pre-orders to be this high, with Musk saying the initial expectation was “maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of what happened” before its unveiling.

While the high number is good for the company, it will also have to think about how best to meet this demand, with Musk going as far as to suggest building a second factory in Europe to help deal with it.

The first deliveries will begin at the end of 2017, but high reservation numbers could mean that buyers will have to wait until 2018 or 2019 to get it.

The Model 3 car is the latest electric car from the company and the first one to be created for mass production.

It comes with five seats (but enough room to fit a bike, has a range of 215 miles (346km), autopilot safety features, high-speed supercharging and can go from zero to 60mph (96km/h) in less than six seconds.

The car is also available to pre-order in Ireland with superchargers – free chargers designed to charge a battery completely within 75 minutes – to be set up in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast by the end of the year.

Musk described the car as “the final step in the master plan: a mass market, affordable car”.

Tesla Motors / Vimeo

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