Tesla secures 180 000 orders for new EV in 24 hrs, drives auto sector demand for lithium – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – April 1, 2016)

http://www.miningweekly.com/page/americas-home

TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Twenty-four hours after launching, US electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla Motors has secured more than 180 000 orders for its new Model 3 vehicle, making it the biggest driver of potential lithium demand from the auto sector to date.

By Friday afternoon, that figure had risen to above 198 000 orders, according to South Africa-born entrepreneur Elon Musk.

“Thought it would slow way down today, but Model 3 order count is now at 198k. Recommend ordering soon, as the wait time is growing rapidly,” he posted to Twitter. “The numbers are really incredible. That’s over $7-billion of potential revenue in one day,” UK-based Benchmark Mineral Intelligence market analyst Simon Moores told Mining Weekly Online.

Tesla on Thursday unveiled its latest-model EV, saying the most basic version of the Model 3 would start at $35 000, though the first ones delivered could fetch far higher prices, perhaps even as much as $55 000 or $60 000 owing to customers adding more features like a bigger battery pack with greater range.

The automaker promised the base model would have a range of nearly 350 km, fully charged.Musk estimated the average car would sell for about $42 000, including optional features, for total sales of about $7.5-billion, should all customers who made a deposit complete the order.

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