After years of waiting, we're tantalizingly close to the unveiling of Tesla's Model 3. As opposed to the previously released Tesla Roadster and Model S, the Model 3 is being positioned as an electric vehicle for the masses. Armed with a $35,000 price tag, it's a safe bet that the Model 3 will be the most successful Tesla vehicle ever released.
More than likely, demand for the Model 3 will be through the roof. Which is to say, if you want to get the Model 3 as early as possible, you'll need to get your pre-order in as soon as possible. If you're used to pre-ordering a smartphone but find yourself flummoxed by the idea of pre-ordering a car that won't even be released until late 2017, we've got you covered.
Here's everything you need to know about how pre-orders for the Model 3 will work.
Tesla will begin taking pre-orders for the Model 3 beginning on March 31 right when Thursday's event starts at 10:30 p.m EDT / 7:30 p.m. PDT. The only caveat is that pre-orders on March 31 can only be made in-store at Tesla dealerships. Additionally, pre-orders will require a $1,000 down payment. You can view a list of nearby Tesla dealerships by entering in your location on this Tesla webpage.
Now even if you live close by to a Tesla dealership, you might want to get there as soon as you can on March 31. Indeed, some Tesla locations around the world are already seeing lines form ahead of Thursday's big unveiling.
For individuals who can't get to a Tesla dealership tomorrow, online pre-orders via Tesla's website will begin on April 1.
Seems simple enough, but unfortunately there is a bit more to the story.
As we highlighted a few weeks ago, Tesla is planning to prioritize Model 3 reservations for current Tesla owners.
In an email Tesla sent out a few weeks back, the company explained the thinking behind its strategy: “As a current owner who has supported Tesla and our mission, your reservation will take priority and be placed ahead of non-owners."
What's more, we've also seen reports that Tesla plans to open up pre-orders for current Tesla employees early, before the March 31 date that the general public will have to wait for.
All that being said, it stands to reason that by the time you get around to ordering your Tesla Model 3 online on April 1, it's likely that they'll already be an extremely long line of people ahead of you.
Now if you're cool with sitting around waiting for the Model 3 to come out before putting an order in, we definitely get that. But be aware that the price of the Model 3 might go up the longer you wait. As we detailed a few weeks ago, the federal $7,500 tax credit that accompanies EV purchases won't be available in perpetuity. On the contrary, the credit will disappear once a particular EV manufacturer sells 200,000 eligible vehicles in the U.S. After that, the tax credit falls to $3,750 for six months whereupon it then drops to $1,875 for the following six months.
This article was originally published on BGR.com