Tesla Model 3 Backlog Still Close To 2 Years

Model 3


Would-be owners face a 19-month long backlog of Model 3 reservations at the current production rate

Even with the record-shattering production of 7,000 vehicles rate achieved last week, some 5,000 of them being the Model 3, Tesla Motors is still a long way from home when actual deliveries of their mid-size sedan to most would-be owners come into play. Tesla Motors revealed that the company still has a backlog of about 420,000 Model 3 reservations. This means that, at the current production rate, an insanely long wait time of 19 months for their cars to be delivered could be experienced by the customers.

The remaining net Model 3 reservations count at the end of Q2 still stood at roughly 420,000 even though we have now delivered 28,386 Model 3 vehicles to date. When we start to provide customers an opportunity to see and test drive the car at their local store, we expect that our orders will grow faster than our production rate. Model 3 Dual Motor All Wheel Drive and Model 3 Dual Motor All Wheel Drive Performance cars will also be available in our stores shortly.

When the automaker revealed the Model 3, Tesla racked up an incredible number of reservations for their entry-level electric vehicle model. Even before most people could actually see or drive the car in person, the U.S. based automaker achieved close to half a million of reservations, a number that made waves throughout the car industry. With Tesla starting to change reservations into actual orders, that number dropped but is expected to rise to similar levels when Tesla reveals a fleet of display and test drive vehicles.

We can easily predict that when Tesla begins Model 3 deliveries on a higher scale and people actually get to see the vehicles in person – whether at a store or thanks to their friends and family – the growth of reservations and actual orders will once more, be impressive. While the tax credit break may impact those numbers a bit, Tesla is certainly on the way to rack up more Model 3 reservations in the forthcoming months. The only problem is you’ll have to wait for it. A long time.

Below, you will find a neat little video giving you five reasons why not to wait on the Model 3 and buy the Model S instead.

Source: Electrek

Categories: Tesla

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96 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Backlog Still Close To 2 Years"

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Yeah, the problem is if you really want one soon, you have to get the performance version, which pushes people back in the line who want to wait for a less fantastic (cheaper) version. 20 months sounds about right, for the least expensive model.
I would never get the S, too big. I might wait for the sport version, but that will probably be 5 years, before that is available..

Model S: 196″ L x 77″ W x 57″ H
Clarity: 193″ L x 74″ W x 58″ H
Model 3: 185″ L x 73″ W x 57″ H
Volt:    180″ L x 71″ W x 56″ H
Bolt EV: 164″ L x 70″ W x 63″ H
BMW i3:  158″ L x 70″ W x 63″ H

S is definitely bigger, but not vastly. Could be a problem in a garage or something.

Chevy Impala – 201.3 Inches.

For me the garage is the problem, really high, the garage that is, built for a Model T, or a Model A, house build in the 30’s.

Maybe for you. but I like being able to park the car with a canoe on top for the trip early tomorrow.

The Model S (196′ L) is about the size of a typical mid-size sedan, for reference:

’18 Fusion = 192″ L
’18 Camry = 193″ L
’18 Accord = 192′ L

At least on the outside. But with the compact EV drivetrain packaging it has more room on the inside and double the cargo capacity of a Camry or Accord.

I think when people feel the Model S is big it’s due to the width. It’s 5″ wider than a Camry. Also because of the extra weight, even though it’s planted due to the low center of gravity, it just feels big.

“But with the compact EV drivetrain packaging it has more room on the inside and double the cargo capacity of a Camry or Accord.”


Interior Passenger Volume, Accord/Camry/Model S
Cargo volume: Accord/Camry/Model S

Yes, Model S wins the cargo volume but it is pretty crappy for a midsize sedan in terms of INTERIOR PASSENGER VOLUME. It only made the large class (barely) due to the larger cargo volume with its hatchback configuration (cheated the stupid EPA rules with old loop holes like Prius).

Interior passenger volume wise, Model S is on the smaller size for a “mid size”.

You don’t have to get the performance version, just the long range version (+$9000) with premium interior (+$5000).

I would have got the premium interior either way, so waiting came down to whether or not I wanted the long range battery. If I ordered an M3 now (which I did), I should be eligible for the $7500 rebate (YMMV). If I waited for the standard battery, I probably won’t get the rebate. So in essence, it was like getting the long-range battery for only $1500.

Now that the AWD and performance versions are available, order for the RWD version got pushed back a bit as well… Not too much, though.

Hard to know what the true upgrade value is of the premium interior until they actually show a non-premium. But yes, losing $3,750 or even the full $7500 does certainly change the equation!

At least you are not waiting for the RHD Model 3

It was 7k total Tesla vehicles not just model 3s. Model 3s were at 5k for the week. So the opening sentence to this article is factually false.


I suppose this backlog was before Tesla asked 2500 USD to keep the order alive .

Surprinsingly , when asking for the 2500 USD , Tesla was saying : “we cannot guarranty any date of delivery ….. ….. but consider 2-4 months”.
Where is the catch ?

You never had an order, you had a reservation in line to place an order. Now that I have 2.5k down I have an order with a delivery date range. Very different things.

What is this date range ?

Mine was ordered on June 30th with $2,500 down payment. I am picking up Monday July 9th. I am in GA.

The 2500 wasn’t to “keep the order alive” it was to actually order the car. If you didn’t configure/order a car then you wouldn’t have to put any money down (aside from the refundable 1000 that you already did). If you wanted the SR version you would not have done anything since you cannot configure/order that version yet.

Thank you for clarifying that. The Tesla bashers have been having a heyday twisting that latest bit of news into FUD.

I think the public was expecting that eventually the $2500 requirement would go away with volume production. After all, you’ve already placed a $1000 deposit. If another manufacturer requires a deposit it is usually $500.

I was invited to configure back in April. But we had a lease on our i3 that was ending in September so we waited to configure near the end of June. I didn’t have to do anything and my original refundable $1,000 deposit held my configuration invite. Then we configured on June 20th and put down the non-refundable $2,500. I am picking up my Model 3 on Monday. Had no idea it would be delivered so soon so our timing on getting before the lease was up is definitely on the early side.

Actually the $2,500 IS refundable, but only for 3 days.

It is also transferable to a different car all the way up to when you take delivery of the vehicle, and decide you don’t want to accept the specific car they roll out in front of you.

I’m prepared for the thumbs down…This is only true IF Tesla actually produces the $35K version…If for whatever reason including a MSRP increase, they cannot offer the $35K vehicle a lot of people will cancel…


But since they restated, just recently, that they will definitely go through with the $35,000 variant, this is kinda hypothetical…

“they restated” doesn’t exactly inspire confidence…Unless something recently changed, you still cannot buy a Model 3 withOUT the $5K PUP…

You are wrong. Such a direct confirmation *does* inspire confidence in those who care.

It obviously doesn’t change the stance of a hater like you — but luckily, nobody cares about that 🙂

You can’t just ask for thumbs down, you need to earn them. See the troll manual for further instructions.

“This means that, at the CURRENT production rate, an insanely long wait time of 19 months for their cars to be delivered COULD be experienced by the customers.”

At the risk of sounding snarky is the premise of this article that there is some anticipation that production rates won’t be increasing from the current 5,000 M3s a week and hence the title of the article claiming backlog is STILL two years? Or is the premise of the article just a fun mathematical exercise where production output gets frozen at current levels and it is then calculated that current reservations would take two years?

I hear you, Philip, but I can kind of understand not wanting to try to forecast what the production rate will be over each of the next 6 or 7 quarters. Obviously it will be going up, but how fast will it be going up? I have no idea of what the 3 production rate will be next quarter, let alone in any of the 2019 quarters. Insideevs is the preeminent source for BEV numbers but I wouldn’t want to be Steven or Vanja and try to predict what the production rate will be in the coming quarters.
I can confidently predict that the exact 3 production numbers for each of the next four quarters will be…. More than what we have seen so far! 😉

Yup and how many Model 3s will Tesla produce the first week after hitting 5K/week? A few as zero since they’re taking a week long break and there will be other breaks as well…There’s no doubt in my mind they’ll hit 5K/week consistently but that could be months away…If the stories are true that Musk was yelling at people and pulled X/S personnel over to the 3, they have other issues to sort out…

It’s not a week long break. It’s a four-day break, and that includes both a Sunday and a national holiday, which normally would not be work days, or at least (for the Sunday) only a partial work day.

I don’t think you’re Tesla basher, Bacardi, but your comments here certainly do appear rather biased.

What was the Model 3 peak backlog? I want to say 519,000, but I can’t find the reference.

Yes, it was roughly that. So in one year reservations have dropped 20%, but only 13% if you exclude deliveries. Obviously, to be a sustainable product reservations net deliveries will stop dropping at some point.

Remember, the backlog diminishes slowly with the greater number of cars they produce in a given period, even with new reservations.

Yes, that’s the 13% number above, which excludes deliveries.

Your math is wrong, because you got the facts wrong. See my other post. Please correct your math based on 455K

Where did you find that number? I don’t remember them ever confirming anything in that range…

So close… 518,000 was the total number of people who had put down deposits BEFORE accounting for cancellations. It was never the peak backlog at any point. Elon had to issue a correction to clarify that he had misspoken and that the total was 455K with adjusting for cancelations. https://insideevs.com/tesla-q2-2017-model-3-reservations-455k/

“One thing I want to correct from Friday: I don’t think it really has much materiality, but I did misspeak at the Journalist Review on Friday.

I had said that there were 500,000 net reservations. I did also say that I wasn’t sure because I don’t follow this number, and this was just a guess.

And so we did check to get some precision on this. So to be more accurate, there have been 518,000 gross reservations for 3, and we have 455,000 net reservations. But those cancellations occurred over the course of more than a year.”

Then Elon ends by saying:

“I think this is inconsequential because with a small amount of effort we could easily drive the Model 3 reservation number to something much higher, but there’s no point.”

And that’s the point.

Wow, people get downvoted for doing some digging to provide a precise, factual answer to a question someone asked. This is such a mature forum 🙁

I’m holding onto my Sept-Nov window and not editing the order further, unless I cannot get the full US tax credit. Even if the 200k car was sold in June, I still have until Sept 30th to take delivery and get the full credit. oh the suspense….

Just read on FB, someone added EA to their order and had their delivery window moved out by an additional month, and probably lost out on unlimited data as a result.

Considering that EA is a software-only feature, it’s hard to imagine it would change the timeline… Is it possible that the window was actually updated before, and they simply only noticed after modifying the order?…

Totally agree…If true, that the ONLY change was to EA then perhaps making any change moves the date or perhaps the date would have moved regardless if a edit was made…Tesla customer service is fairly accommodating, if this happened to anyone they should consider contacting Tesla and maybe they’ll retain the free lifetime data as well…

Last quarter’s Model 3 production began at a 2K per week, ended up at 5K, and yet for the entire quarter it averaged only 1.5K. That’s the number which should be used for calculations like these.

Let’s pretend that the peak production starts at 5k this quarter and finishes at 7k in Sept, but has an average of only 3,500/week. That represents 45,500 cars sold. The cheapest of those is 50,000 and the most expensive is maybe 80,000? Let’s pretend the average is 60k. That represents $2.73B in revenues, which would nearly double last year Q3. Numbers look fine to me.

Seven Electrics isn’t talking money, just production numbers. Claiming 7,000 when it turns out the average was actually 3,500 is misinformation. The average is far more representative than any peaks or troughs.

They claimed 7,000 because it WAS 7,000. NO ONE said 7,000 “average”

Like I said, talking about your peak numbers is irrelevant and meaningless. The only numbers that have any significance are your averages.

Peak numbers matter a lot to get averages up, showing a peak over a week means the assembly line is moving. Obviously averages are more important long term, but the peak isn’t meaningless. This seven day average is better than last Dec when they were saying something like building at a rate of 1000/week or something (meaning for a few hours they ran that fast).

Yep, what he said.

“…talking about your peak numbers is irrelevant and meaningless.”

It is about as far away from “irrelevant” you can get, insofar as testing the line to see how fast it can be run without anything breaking!

Testing peak production rate is exactly what needs to be done to identify the bottlenecks which must be relieved in order to substantially increase the average production rate.

You just quoted 3 numbers, and we know the production rate is slowly rising.. So what number do you think should be used for the “long term average production rate?” – as 1.5K seems rather low, on a long term perspective…

It doesn’t matter if it seem’s low, if it’s the average then it’s the average whether people like it or not.

Quoting peak numbers is irrelevant. There’s no point pushing staff into producing 1,000 cars in a day then claiming you’re producing 7,000 a week when the reality is 500 a day on average. It’s absolutely meaningless tripe. Like any process it has peaks and troughs and you should be quoting the average.

(The number’s I’ve used are an example, randomly picked for ease of explanation).

Eleventy Pretend Electrics said:

“Last quarter’s Model 3 production began at a 2K per week, ended up at 5K…”

Factually incorrect, but nice trolling. 🙄

Q1 ended with an unsustainable burst at 2k per week, just as Q2 ended with an unsustainable burst at 5k per week. That’s not at all the same as Q2 beginning at a sustained 2k per week, any more than Q3 is beginning with a sustained 5k per week.

The estimate in the article is fine.

Well, the first few weeks of Q2 did indeed sustain the 2000/week rate…

Good if they did, but I wonder if you got that data from Bloomberg’s production tracker, which isn’t reliable on the week-to-week numbers.

If I’m wrong then I’m wrong, but I’d like to see a citation, and one more authoritative than Bloomberg’s production tracker.

No, that’s a statement directly from Tesla: they sustained 2000/week for three weeks at the beginning Q2 (actually 2200 in the third one), before they shut down production for another upgrade.

Except that 1,500 average for Q2 is just plain wrong. Learn you some maths.

Q2 built about 40,000 model 3 cars, so average of 3k per week.

Actually, it was 28,578 — but that still makes way more than 1,500 per week 🙂

Sigh. “He stated a simple, obvious, verifiable fact that doesn’t suit our narrative! Let’s downvote him!”

I have pointed this out previously, and you’re again confusing production and delivery numbers to suit your narrative. The actual production for the quarter was 28578 cars, or ~2.2k per week.

The 1.5 k/week is for deliveries.

deliveries ≠ production

So the average for Q2 was above the peak of Q1. If that trend continues we can expect > 5k / week for Q3.

I’d been wondering whether Tesla could sustain the same sales rate once its backlog was worked through. I guess it won’t matter for at least another two years.

Tesla is not going to spend lots of money and effort working up to a production rate far in excess of the rate at which it’s getting new orders. Its executives are not foolish enough to run the company off a cliff like that.

Tesla bashers have been predicting since the day Tesla sold its first car that its sales wouldn’t be sustainable. So far at least, they have been wrong every single time. I think that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

Based upon the history of Model S and Model X reservations vs. Tesla’s sales rate after fulfilling all reservations, the sales rate definitely won’t stay at the same level.

If the Model S/X sales pattern repeats itself, Model 3 sales will go up a full order of magnitude once Tesla fulfills their initial reservation list. That is what happened with both the S and X.

Though 19 months seems like a long time, Tesla isn’t the only one(s) having this problem. The entire North American class 8 diesel truck market is backlogged 10 months, (that’s 145,000
orders booked)

People planning on making EV trucks need to get cranking, the sooner the better.

Why? What’s the holdup in truck manufacturing?

Not enough diesel tanks?

Close, it is because of lack of parts.
Tires, axles, wiring harnesses, etc.
The North American capacity by all the mfg is around 15,000 month but lately it’s been down to 13,000

Parts suppliers claim they have labor shortage so not even running current at 100%

Another problem is that people may start to accelerate placing new reservations as Tesla becomes more “proven”. That could push the back log to 2+ years. I’ve been telling you people to cancel, but you don’t listen!

Yup. As more and more people see the Model 3 driving around, and as new TM3 owners tell more and more people about their wonderful new car, the rate at which Tesla will get new reservations for the TM3 will increase, not fall.

Just as happened with the Model S and the Model X, as Nix already pointed out.

A friend just put in his reservation about a month ago, and got his email to configure a week or two ago. Delivery time was stated to be about 4 months. Once the cheaper version becomes available, I’m guessing the lead time is going to be several months (> 9) in my opinion

It’s going to be near impossible to predict since we have no idea which configuration reservation holders want…

Well, you could do a statistical analysis and be in the ball park.

Or you could get an account at model3tracker.info and look at the Configuration Popularity Report and Popular Combinations Report that is based on the very statistically significant approx 15,000 reservation holders…..

If there are 420,000 reservations and nearly a two year wait, then that means there’s probably a large number of potential buyers who either can’t wait or don’t have the patience to wait.

And given that Model Y should easily out sell Model 3, then we seeing a huge amount of future business for Tesla. And all for vehicles that start at $35K, not $25K.

(Elon: don’t goof up Model Y like you did Model X…)

It actually means that there are a ton more people who will decide to buy a Tesla when they can test drive one before putting down a deposit, who will completely outnumber buyers who cancel.

I am glad I cancelled my M3 reservation and purchased a Volt, replacing a gas guzzler last October. I have been driving almost 10k EV miles now for my pure EV mode commute. I am sure I would have to wait at least another year for the $35k M3 I had planned ordering, with no chance for the tax incentive that applied in full to my Volt purchase. Yes, the M3 is nicer, but may not be the best deal for many at this time. I’ll get back in line once long term reliability data for the M3 are out and our 2nd car’s lease is up, maybe for MY after all, if I am not blacklisted.

Sort of what I did, we bought a Clarity PHEV as the family car since price and wait on Model 3 was too much. Already put 14k miles on it (about 2/3 EV) and saved over 600 gallons of gas since December vs the Minivan. Price wise we would need the long range Model 3 to match the usefulness of the Clarity so would be looking at $50k instead of mid 30k.

I really like the Model 3, but waiting more for a Model Y and I didn’t want to be in the first wave of buyers.

Small correction: the LR version of Model 3 should be $45,000 rather than $50,000, once the non-premium interior becomes available.

How many of those 420,000 are for RH-drive countries or simply countries outside the US? I ask because if you are in the US and reserve today, you may get your car before someone in the UK who has reserved. It all depends on how/when Tesla plans to set up for RHD or any other countries that require specific standards. So the line may not actually be 420,000.

I’m not aware of Tesla ever breaking this down so its possible we’ll never know…

If you reserve the long range variant today, you will very likely get it before any are exported outside North America. For standard variant, hard to say.

Who else says 19 months is “close to 2 years” ?

Sure makes for a more dramatic headline though.

You could round up to the nearest 3-year block and say “nearly 3 years.”

I should have my brand new M3 non P dual motor in the driveway in 3 months, give or take.

The used S would be a used car. In case you haven’t noticed, people beat the crud out of their Model S. Especially anything with a P in front of the battery size. Many used ones have had their complete driveline replaced. Gee, I wonder why – 100% torque.

For $50,000 – $60,000 in a used S you’re likely to get the old nose, perhaps the older seats, less range than a price-comparable 3, and an older version of Autopilot. I opted for AWD and no AP since all the hardware is in place and I can add it later.

The hatch is a big deal, I admit. This is why I project my next car after my 3 to be a Y or even a used X. The touchscreen is laggy in the S and X. All Model 3 reviewers state the 3’s display is snappier. I’ll enjoy a better car with each update. As far as the two displays, I’m eyeing aftermarket HUDs or just mounting my phone the way he did.

laggy is bad. I would choose non-laggy over laggy too.

I have tried to post my comment 3 times. For some reason it is triggering the waiting for moderation filter.

I haven’t seen any in the moderation folder. Very weird. I watch it all day. Try again.

Found them and fixed. It was going directly into the trash rather than the moderation folder. Your comment has a blacklisted word in it, but it wasn’t a “bad” word. It was blacklisted since it was part of an old, banned username. Sorry, James!

So every time I get the moderation message, it’s quite possible my comment actually went directly to the trash bin?…

So, outside USA, the Model 3 will be available for 2020. By then, there will be more competitors in Europe, Japan or China and Tesla can loose its advantage.

Well, there will certainly be more options in various segments to choose from by that time — but I don’t remember anything having been announced that would directly compete with the Model 3?…

How many years before the Model 3 will be available in Europe?