Tesla Rolls Out Long-Awaited Model 3
Buyers line up to reserve Tesla's lowest-priced car
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 1, 2016 1:15 AM CDT
Updated Apr 1, 2016 6:00 AM CDT
Customers wait in line Thursday at a Tesla showroom in Pasadena, Calif., to be the first to sign a waiting list to own the new Tesla 3.   (Nick Ut)
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(Newser) – Tesla Motors says buyers reserved more than 115,000 Model 3 sedans on Thursday, the first day orders for the much-anticipated electric vehicle were taken. Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduced prototype versions of the car Thursday night at the company's Los Angeles design studio, the AP reports. It has a panoramic glass roof and semi-autonomous features like automatic lane changing and lane-keeping. Musk says it will go at least 215 miles on an electric charge. To support Model 3 sales, Musk says Tesla plans to double the number of stores it has worldwide to 441 by the end of next year. It also plans to double its fast-charging stations to 7,200.

With a starting price of $35,000, the Model 3 is the lowest-priced car Tesla has ever made. It's scheduled to go on sale at the end of 2017. Potential buyers could reserve a Model 3 with a $1,000 deposit at Tesla stores starting Thursday morning. Long lines, reminiscent of the crowds at Apple stores for early models of the iPhone, were reported from Hong Kong to Austin, Texas, to Washington. Charles Fleming of the Los Angeles Times was among the reporters who got to take a ride in a Model 3 at Thursday night's unveiling. He described the car as "sleek, silent, and smart-looking"—and was glad the track had a straight section long enough for "one burst of electric acceleration for which Teslas are deservedly famous."