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By Alicia Adamczyk
April 1, 2016
Customers waited outside Tesla showrooms this week to put deposits on the new Model 3.
Customers waited outside Tesla showrooms this week to put deposits on the new Model 3.
Robyn Beck—AFP/Getty Images

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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Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

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