Good news, Tesla Model 3 reservation holders! If you are among those in the U.S. and Canada who put put down a $1,000 refundable deposit for a car, now it’s time to get serious. You can now confirm your order with Tesla and configure your Model 3 however you want. That will also be an additional $2,500, please, which Tesla very much needs right now.
As Bloomberg and other outlets report, now is the time when hopeful Model 3 owners can lock in their orders and configure their cars. Tesla is currently in a mad dash to scale Model 3 production up to the much-promised 5,000 cars a week, including with a third line in what’s essentially a tent at the Fremont, California plant.
While the confirmation comes with that additional $2,500 fee, the good news is it counts toward the total price of the car—it’s not an extra charge, which would be exceptionally shitty.
Tesla has used this method in the past as it’s converted reservations into orders on the Model S and Model X, as those cars are built to customer specifications.
Buyers here have three days to reconsider for a full refund. This all obviously excludes the buyers who have already received their earlier-build Model 3s—an estimated 39,000 or so have been built so far. And as Bloomberg notes, it’s good news for Tesla as the production ramp-up coincides with a cash crunch:
It’s even more welcome for Tesla’s balance sheet. When a customer confirms their order, they pay another $2,500 before the company begins building their car. Say, for example, 100,000 people in the U.S. and Canada were to confirm this week. That would be a $250 million injection of much-needed cash in the final, frantic days of a critical quarter.
Tesla doesn’t break down reservations by region, and hasn’t disclosed a reservation number recently. The raw number of reservations is constantly in flux as some people cancel and others reserve for the first time, raising questions about demand and what the true backlog is.
There are, of course, some downsides to this. The Model 3 still isn’t at the much-promised $35,000 price tag yet, with some models going for between $50,000 and $80,000. And as CNBC notes, buyers who confirm with their $2,500 still don’t get a hard delivery date, but are told they will receive their car “in as soon as 2-4 months.” (Update: A Tesla spokesperson later said that window is standard for all cars, as they are built to order.)
So it’s more money, still, for a car that has no clear delivery date. Would you go for it to drive “the future”, or would you call it quits at this point?