Khodrocar - This isn't an extra fee—the $2,500 would go toward paying off the cost of the car. But it is an interesting development that may surprise some would-be Tesla buyers, as well as one that illustrates Elon Musk's tricky position as his company tries to ramp up production of the Model 3.
The start of summer has not been a chill time for Tesla Motors. The automaker has always been behind its stated deadlines for building the more affordable electric car, and Musk's company is now furiously racing to meet a target of 5,000 Model 3s per week. The latest, wildest example of that madness is the temporary tent outside Tesla's Fremont, CA factory that workers threw together so they could have a third line to build the car.
Even so, the company needs cash to work with and it needs it right quick. The litany of $1,000 deposits people paid to get on the Model 3 waiting list became many millions of dollars of working capital to build cars. Tesla needs more money to continue the production scale-up, which seems to be why it's asking for buyers to contribute another chunk of cash at the point that they design and customize their cars.
It could work. Tesla tried this tactic with previous cars, and lots of people on the Model 3 waiting list probably would be happy to make what amounts to a downpayment to get their cars within two to four months, as Tesla is promising with this new move.
Bear in mind, though, that the $35,000 base version promised is still not available. Even now with this push for order confirmations, Tesla is making Model 3s with the 310-mile long-range battery only; the standard battery is listed as still six to nine months away. The upshot is that the cheapest Model 3 I could order this moment is a rear-wheel drive model with a listed starting price of $49,000, starting with $2,500 of it right this second.
Source: Popular Mechanics