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Customers waited outside Tesla showrooms this week to put deposits on the new Model 3.  Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Model 3 Basically Became America's Best-Selling Electric Car in 1 Day

Apr 01, 2016

No one has actually purchased a Tesla Model 3 just yet. But based on how many people put deposits down this week to hold their spots to buy the affordable new electric car, sales of the $35,000 Model 3 will absolutely blow the doors off the plug-in competition.

Drivers won't be able to get their hands on the new Tesla 3 until 2017 (and likely later than that due to high demand), but that didn't stop 135,000 pre-orders to be placed on Thursday, the Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Model 3 just outside of Los Angeles.

This level of interest is unprecedented for any electric car. The Nissan Leaf, for example, had its best year ever in 2014 when it sold a little over 30,000 units. The Wall Street Journal reports that Tesla itself has sold just 100,000 cars to date. Last year, the Model S was the best-selling electric car in the U.S., with 25,700 cars purchased.

Even more impressive? Model 3 pre-orders surpassed sales for all electric cars in 2014 (120,000) and 2015 (115,000).

Currently, customers put down a refundable $1,000 deposit to order a Model 3, with some fans responsible for multiple deposits (though Musk tweeted that pre-orders would be capped at two per person). With the retail price for the cars set at $35,000, the deposits would translate into over $4.7 billion in sales if all the models are delivered.

Read Next: Why the Cult Around Tesla Is Eerily Similar to Apple’s Fanboy Following

The more affordable Model 3—starting at about half the price of the $70,000 Model S—is Musk's move to bring electric cars to the masses. And according to Bloomberg, the model is cheaper than the $35,000 price tag lets on: with state and federal tax incentives included, the price for the new model can effectively cost as little as $25,000.

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