Elon Musk is probably breathing a sigh of relief since Tesla can’t keep up with the demand.
Tesla begin accepting reservations for the highly anticipated Model 3 just over two years ago. At the time, the hundreds of thousands of customers who laid down a $1,000 deposit were told they would likely receive their Model 3 in 2018, but as we know the automaker has struggled to keep up with the demand ever since. While Model 3 production is ramping up, Elon Musk recently announced the company is prioritizing rolling out the more expensive $78,000 Performance version before the entry-level $35,000 Model 3.
This means the mass market Model 3 has been delayed even further, which has unsurprisingly prompted many customers to demand their money back. According to new data collated by Second Measure, a company that "analyzes billions of anonymized purchases to answer real-time questions about consumer behavior," 23 percent of all Model 3 deposits were refunded by the end of April. To give you an idea of the ordering process, Model 3 deposits are fully refundable until you start configuring the car and pay an additional fee of $2,500. As of April, Second Measure claims eight percent of US Model 3 depositors had configured a Tesla for production.
The remaining two-thirds "are in limbo—either still holding a spot in the Model 3 queue or waiting for a requested refund to be processed." According to Recode, Tesla says the Second Measure numbers do not "align with its internal data, but would not be more specific as to how far off it is." Considering Tesla is struggling to keep up with the demand and still has over 400,000 Model 3 orders to fulfill, these cancelations will probably come as a sigh of relief. By the end of June, Tesla aims to produce 6,000 Model 3s per week by rolling out production 24/7.