Given that people camped out in line for a chance to pay a deposit on the Model 3, a car they won't see for at least a year, it's no surprise that the pre-order numbers are big. But 276,000 pre-orders in 72 hours is still a shockingly high number.
Mathematically, 276,000 is going to be good for Tesla's bottom line: it means $US276 million ($360 million) in the bank from deposits alone, and demand that will keep Tesla's factories busy for years to come. It's also far more than analysts anticipated: a Time survey said that conventional wisdom was on 55,000 pre-orders in the first 72 hours.
Tesla's stock price has reacted accordingly, and was up to its highest level in the last six months on Friday, before Musk revealed the most recent pre-order numbers.
276k Model 3 orders by end of Sat
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 3, 2016
But the high level of demand could create problems for the company. Tesla has only ever made 100,000 cars, and its factories are scaled for a much lower level of production. Some estimates have cars that are being pre-ordered now being delivered in 2020. [Twitter]