The official unveiling of Tesla's newest car, the Model 3, isn't until 11:30 Eastern time tonight, but that hasn't stopped hundreds of Canadians from waiting in line to place a deposit on buying one sight unseen. Tesla stores across Canada have been swarmed today with customers hoping to place a $1,000 deposit to get in line for the Model 3, which is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2017.
Twitter is full of photos like the one above by @TeslaTaxi, showing huge lineups similar to the release of Apple's iPhone and the new Star Wars movie.
Tesla announced earlier this week that they would start taking deposits this morning, and lineups quickly began to form.
The first in line was Ian Pavelko, a Montreal area man who set up camp at 5 pm on Tuesday and slept two nights in a tent in the parking lot of the Tesla store there. By the time it opened Thursday morning, the Montreal Tesla store had over 200 people in line. Similar lines were seen in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The deposit is refundable, so if the Model 3 is late, or if the folks in line just don't like it, the only thing they will have lost is some time.
The Model 3 is expected to be Tesla's small, affordable electric vehicle, and is rumoured to have pricing starting at $35,000 US and a range of over 300 km on a charge. While it is expected to be available late next year, Tesla has a history of missing production deadlines and company founder Elon Musk stated that the 2017 date hinged on successful completion and opening of the company's massive Gigafactory in Nevada where the lithium ion batteries will be produced. The new more affordable car is part of Tesla's strategy to increase sales to 500,000 cars per year by 2020.
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