The Model 3 has booked 180,000 pre-orders in the 24 hours surrounding its debut.

Early this morning, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his company had booked 180,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 in the past 24 hours. The car, which is Tesla's first attempt at a truly affordable electric car for the masses, debuted last night in California and booked 133,000 pre-orders before the event was even over. 

The pre-orders require potential buyers to hand over a $1,000 deposit that's refundable, which means Tesla has earned $180,000,000 during the time it took the Earth to do a pirouette. Not bad for a single day's work, though it'd be much less impressive if we averaged it out over how many days the Model 3 has already been in development and will be until it goes on sale in late 2017. 

In his tweet, Musk also mentioned that the selling price of Model 3s being reserved is around $42,000, or about $7,000 above the car's $35,000 base price. That means, if Tesla can deliver all those cars, the company will make a cool $7.5 billion.

There's lots of time between now and the end of 2017 for people to change their minds and cancel their reservation, as well as time for even more reservations to be booked. Where the final number of pre-orders ends up is any one's guess, but one thing's for certain is that we've never seen this much put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is interest in a car before, let alone one you can't buy for nearly another two years. 

Source: @elonmusk via Autoblog

Gallery: Tesla Model 3