Over 50 people in Sydney and a similar number in Melbourne are lining up to pay $1500 to secure an early delivery of Tesla's new Model 3 electric car -- with some queueing for the last two days -- despite not knowing what it will look like, how it'll drive, or even how much it'll cost. This is commitment.
These men and women aren't of the generation that you'd usually see queueing for new gadgets; they're generally older -- mid-20s up to middle age -- and they're well dressed. One future buyer in the line commented that the demographic is extremely different to the one across town buying the new iPhone SE also on sale today.
Tesla staff are walking the queue and handing out muffins and cookies, and the team inside is getting ready to open the doors and begin taking details for the pre-order process. Perennial Tesla-buyer Simon Hackett is reportedly buying a(t least one) Model 3 -- his fleet of Teslas entitles him to an earlier place in the queue than first-time owners.
The Tesla Model 3 is set to be officially unveiled tomorrow, in an event in California. While we don't know exactly what the Model 3 will be just yet, we have a pretty good idea -- it'll almost certainly be a four-door sedan around 25 per cent smaller than the Model S. We're expecting a price of approximately $60,000-plus in Australia after currency conversion, shipping and delivery fees from Tesla's United States factory.
From the initial line-up, Tesla will have banked at least $250,000 in individual $1500 pre-orders, and Australia is the first in a long line of countries to open up pre-orders to expectant buyers. The Model 3 will be released worldwide from around late 2017 -- although further into 2018 is a certainty for Australian buyers, as the left-hand drive US market gets precedence.