Tesla seriously underestimated Model 3 demand

Elon Musk says orders for the EV are more than twice as large as expected.

It won't shock you to hear that Tesla low-balled demand for the Model 3, but by how much? Er... quite a bit, actually. Elon Musk has revealed that his company expected "1/4 to 1/2" of the pre-orders it got (252,000 worldwide as of this writing) for its first semi-affordable electric car. While he'd expected lineups at Tesla stores, he figured that there would be "maybe 20-30 people" in queue at a given shop -- not the hundreds that showed up at some places. As a token of appreciation, Tesla plans to give those in-person customers an extra reward on top of what every pre-order customer will get.

There's no doubt that Tesla is delighted with the interest, but the data also raises a few questions. How long will it take for Tesla to fulfill all those extra orders? And will demand keep up when the US' $7,500 EV tax credit (which only applies to the first 200,000 qualifying cars from a brand) starts phasing out? As much as Tesla will likely enjoy having this problem, it won't be so hot if it means that drivers wait months longer and pay more.