In demand: Orders for new lower-priced Tesla hit 200,000
FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) - Orders for Tesla's new electric car keep rolling in. As of Friday night, more than 232,000 orders have been placed for the Tesla Model 3 and the interest doesn't appear to be slowing down.
CEO Elon Musk thought orders for the Model 3 would slow down after the big unveiling Thursdsay, but 24 hours later more than 200,000 people say they want one. At showrooms, like this one in Santana Row, orders haven't stopped. Heidi Zinman is among those who forked over a $1,000 to reserve one. She can't believe the hype.
"I am surprised because the other models only seem to have 15,000-20,000 orders at the beginning maybe even less," said Heidi Zinman of Saratoga. "This has 200,000 so we hope to move up on that list pretty fast."
Tesla's latest offering said to run 215 miles on a single charge and go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. However, the biggest reason..demand is so high is because of its price point, starting at $35,000.
"The original model of Tesla was very expensive," said Rajesh Kukreja of San Francisco. "I could not afford to buy for my son so when we saw this, oh this is much affordable."
The high interest begs the question how and will the company keep up with demand. Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison doesn't see it as problem, as Tesla looks to rev up production.
"Just last year Tesla leased an addiitonal nearly one million square feet of space in Fremont, South Fremont, Warm Springs area so they are committed to expanding here in Fremont and expanding in the silicon valley," said Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison.
Opened in 2010, the factory sits on what used to be the Nummi Auto Plant, a joint partnership between Toyota and General Motors. Harrison said, April 1 marks the sixth anniversary of when the plant shut down bringing 4,700 jobs went with it. Tesla now brings in than 5,000 jobs and counting.
"I think the demand is incredible," said Harrison. "I think the Tesla people are impressed and are excited. I think it shows what we are all about here in Fremont is clean tech."
At thursday's reveal, Musk said the Tesla Factor made 500,000 cars a year. He's confident these new electric cars could be hitting the roads in 18 months.
"I do feel fairly confident it will be available next year," said Musk.
"It's a long wait but i think it's probably worth the wait," said Zinman.