Electric car enthusiasts are clamoring to reserve a Tesla Model S, even though the much-hyped electric sedan isn't scheduled to roll out of the factory until 2012. More than 2,200 people have plunked down deposits on the car, SiliconValley.com reports, and that’s no small commitment. It costs $5,000 to reserve the regular Model S (expected retail: $49,000), and $40,000 to reserve the “Signature Edition” (expected retail: stratospheric). For perspective, reserving a Nissan Leaf costs about a hundred bucks.
But Tesla fans are a fanatical bunch, banding together online to discuss their future ride. “Being a part of this subculture is great,” says one Missouri customer. For a few, the price tag is even a plus. One man said he’d reserved the Signature Edition “because it’s a showoff car and I’m a showoff.” He added, “I’ve put down $40,000 on a car I've never seen and hasn't been built yet, and I don’t even know what the price will turn out to be. … But somehow, this still makes sense to me.”