Want To Reserve a Tesla Model 3 Electric Car? Here’s What We’ve Learned So Far About The Process

In just ten days’ time, Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] CEO Elon Musk will unveil the Tesla Model 3 electric car at an exclusive invite-only event at Tesla’s Design Center in Hawthorne, California, which will be simultaneously streamed over the Internet for those who aren’t lucky enough to be in attendence.

So far, Tesla has been quiet about Model 3 specifics, although we do know from previous comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that it will be priced at $35,000 before incentives, offer a range in excess of 200 miles per charge, and offer Supercharger compatibility. Model 3 is also expected to offer the same level of performance and specification as the BMW 3-series, a car Musk has said on more than one occasion will be the Model 3’s prime competitor in the automotive marketplace.

Tesla has shared more about the reservation process for Model 3.

Tesla has shared more about the reservation process for Model 3.

Now, thanks to news from Tesla employees over the weekend and an official blog post released this morning by Tesla Motors, we can tell you more about the Model 3 reservation process, including the price you’ll pay, how Tesla will prioritize orders, and what to expect when you actually make your reservation.

Firstly, as Electrek and other news sites reported over the weekend Tesla Employees were invited around 1am Pacific time on Friday to make their own private reservations for a Tesla Model 3. Given how closely Tesla guards information concerning launch events and upcoming products, it’s likely that many of those who did place an order were doing so sight unseen.  With an estimated 15,000 employees now at Tesla Motors and Electrek citing sources within Tesla who say most colleagues are putting down their own deposits, Tesla may have earned itself more than 10,000 reservations for Model 3 even before next week’s official reveal event (although we’re highly doubtful every_single_Tesla_employee will place an order).

Tesla's 15,000 employees -- including store staff and factory staff -- have been able to place their reservations already.

Tesla’s 15,000 employees — including store staff and factory staff — have been able to place their reservations already.

Then this morning via an official post on its website, Tesla detailed where customers can go to place their own deposit down to be in the queue to order a Tesla Model 3, along with details about how much it will cost in each of the major markets to reserve a Model 3 and how Tesla proposes order fulfillment will take place.

As previously promised by Tesla, those lucky enough to be at the reveal event will be able to place their deposit in person with Tesla staff, while those who are watching online will be able to make their deposits via the TeslaMotors.com website from April 1st. Alternatively, those wishing to get their name in ahead of the reveal event can do so from March 31 at a Tesla Store, where they too can place a deposit ‘sight unseen.’

How much you’ll have to pay depends on where you live in the world. As Tesla notes in its official Tesla Model 3 Reservation Agreement, placing your deposit does not constitute an order for a Model 3. Instead, it’s a reservation to make a Model 3 order at some point in the future, but is (importantly) a non-binding reservation payment that you can rescind at any point should you choose not to proceed with a Tesla Model 3 order.

Tesla’s agreement — a whole page worth of reasonably straight-forward legalease — also reminds reservation holders that it reserves the right to change the pricing and specification up until the point that the customer signs an executed Purchase Agreement. It also states that Tesla will “establish your reservation sequence position in our sole discretion,” adding that “We may decline reservations to avoid over-subscription or as we deek appropriate in our sole discretion.” All cancelled reservations, either cancelled by the customer or by Tesla, will attract a full refund of the reservation fee.

Which brings us nicely to the costs associated with making a deposit. Rather than mess around with exchange rates, Tesla is charging a $1,000 U.S. for customers in the U.S., $1,000 CAD for those in Canada, and €1,000, CHF 1,000 and £1,000 for customers in the Eurozone, Switzerland, and the UK respectively.

Will you be making a reservation?

Will you be making a reservation?

Those in Denmark, Sweden and Norway will pay 10,000 kr. of their local currency each, while those in Australia will be asked to put down $1,500 AUD. Meanwhile, those in Hong Kong will be asked to place down a $10,000 HKD deposit, while those in mainland China will be asked to put down ¥8,000. Finally, those in Japan will need to put down ¥150,000.

As to reservation placement? As we’ve already learned, Tesla will prioritize reservations of existing customers and even goes so far to remind customers in its official blog post that “the fastest way to buy a Model 3 is to buy a Model S or Model X.” After existing customers (and we presume Tesla Staff) in each region have received their cars, Tesla will continue to work its way through the remaining reservation holders.

Production, Tesla confirms, is scheduled to begin in late 2017, with the first customers to receive their cars being those who are based on the West Coast of the U.S. From that point, Tesla says deliveries will progress across the Continental U.S. eastward, with production ramping up accordingly at Tesla’s Fremont facility. After the U.S., customers in Europe will be next, followed by Asia. Right hand drive markets like the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia, appear to be last.

You can read more about the reservation process for yourself at Tesla’s website, but in the meantime, we’d like to know what you think about the Model 3. Will you be placing an order? Do you think it’s fair that existing Tesla customers — who already have a Tesla — get precedence over those who have until now been unable to afford one?

And how long do you think it will take for Tesla to fulfill all Model 3 pre-orders?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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  • Hmm, the yen is leet usd. Hehe.

    Let’s hope they get alot of pre-orders, since those are what grease the wheels (so to speak). x-x It’ll be neat to see a Tesla nearer to my own car.

  • TedKidd

    Yep. Only decision is whether to go to a store or wait til 4/1

  • Will almost certainly be reserving online during the reveal. Here in Canada, it matters not if you reserve in the first day or two, as we will be waiting a few months after US customers before we see our first Model 3 based on previous precedent on S and X. I hope Tesla’s website is scaled for 1,000,000 simultaneous users on it…

  • Ad van der Meer

    Hell yes!

  • KIMS

    I’m planning a ‘field trip day’ myself for the 31st. It may not matter much, reserving on the 31st vs the 1st, even for me living on the east coast, but it’s the principle of it. I view this event as another sort of ‘election’ if you will, and my presence and early reservation is my vote of confidence, hope and dreams in the Tesla Saga. I hope a ‘uuuge number of people place down reservations in the first few days and weeks to show other car makers and also investors and politicians! 🙂
    (Full disclosure, I dabble in the stock market and I own a handful of Tesla shares. 🙂

  • Cesar Deschamps

    I visited my local store during lunch. I asked about the process of reserving a Model 3 and I noticed something interesting.

    1. This is what I was told. They will open here in Miami (Hallandale Beach Store) at 10am to take reservations. They thought they would be opening at 1pm to co-inside with Cali, but they confirmed that they heard this morning from Corporate that they will be processing reservations immediately upon opening.

    2. The Southeast Region will have its own queue. Again, from their briefing this morning, each region in the country will have their own queue and yes owners will receive priority first, but only after optioned cars first. In other words, the Optioned cars are grouped first (highest will be delivered first) but inside this sub-list owners will get theirs first. So, it will be possible to get my car before an owner if my car has more options and a higher list price.

    They also told me that they are fielding many calls asking about store hours for the launch of the model 3. I am hoping most people will go to the Boca Mall. The Service Center is in an industrial park and I am hoping most people will find it hard to find.

    Interesting Notice:

    I keep reading allot of noise articles about TESLA not being able to deliver Model X in volume. I know this is not scientific, but while I was there a drove around the back lot and took note of the Model X waiting for owners. The guy washing and cleaning the cars told me that the cars are delivered within 24 hours of arrival. So, I noticed two dozen Model X, and more than 30 Model S waiting for the delivery prep. Again not scientific, but given what I keep reading, I would have expected a trickle of Model X at maybe 2 or 3 per day. Not So.

    I am planning to be there at 8am to see whats up. Will be giving my deposit on a car I have not see or driven. Will see if Tesla has captured the fever like the iPhone does.

    As far as the future of the company, it is up to TESLA to screw up. Few companies have been able to pull off what Apple and TESLA have done. I have bought Mac computers and iPads without so much as my finger touching the machine. And I am not alone. Thousands of people have bought the X and S and will order the 3. Can you think of any other company that elicits this kind customer loyalty and behaviour. Cheers.