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Tesla CEO Elon Musk extrapolates 180K Model 3 reservations to a $7.5B day [Update: 200K]


Never one to shy away from controversial accounting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk today tweeted his take on the initial Model 3 sales numbers which are at 180K barely 24 hours into sales. By his math, which he estimates an average of $7000 in options on each Model 3 sold and more controversially, counting every Model 3 reservation as a sale, he’s come up with a $7.5 billion payday for Tesla.

Clearly, everyone who put down $1000 yesterday and today isn’t going to buy a Model 3 worth an average price of $42,000. But a huge number of those people will and more importantly, many more people will try to get in early to reap the $7500 tax incentive from the US government over the coming months.

Update: The reservation count is now nearing 200K and we’re likely nearing the end of the $7500 tax credit window.

The reservation to order conversation rate could end up fairly high, but it’s unlikely that will be 100% like Musk is suggesting in his latest tweet. Not everyone was surprised by the high number of Model 3 purchases however.

From the deposits alone, Tesla now has a virtual $180 million 18-month interest-free loan.

Investors and Wall Street analysts are mostly happy with Tesla’s Model 3 event last night and the reservation results. The company’s stock (TSLA) surged about 10% in early trading before settling down to a 3% gain at ~$236 right after the opening bell.

You can read our post summarizing everything new we learned at the Model 3 event here.

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  1. QC - 7 years ago

    Go checkout the google trends for model 3 vs S/X. I say 300 000 before the summer

  2. Dakota - 7 years ago

    I do not think Elon meant each order would have an average of $7,000 in extras. He’s probably assuming ~25% of orders will have many extras and their cars will be sold for $50K+, which when averaged with $35,000 standards comes out to ~$7K added on to each of the orders.

  3. Jeroen - 7 years ago

    To be fair, the number of new reservations needs to cancel out cancellations to get to this result. So It can be seen as a fair take

  4. Rolando Nieves - 7 years ago

    I made my reservation last night but have yet to receive a confirmation e-mail. Has anyone received anything like a confirmation e-mail yet?

    • I made my res. some 15hours ago – still no e-mail.

      • Robert Weekley - 7 years ago

        I made my reservation just 35 minutes after our store opened a 9AM, as I was #66 in line.

        My welcome to Tesla email was 2 minutes later, automated msg. My confirmation email indicating payment was received, came about 5 mintes later or less. My credit card also showed yhe payment as Pending before noon!

        I also took the business card of my rep that entered the info, and of the Manager, in case I had any questions or issues.

        Maybe you could contact the store where you reserved and ask your question? That is why they have staff, to answer your questions!

    • jpwhitehome - 7 years ago

      No email yet. I logged into my account on and see I have a reservation number now.

  5. Eric - 7 years ago

    The 200,000 unit limit for the federal tax credit has nothing to do with reservations but only applies when the car is purchased. Who knows how many more S or X will be sold before the first 3 is sold…


Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting