Let’s be honest: the Model 3 is basically being crowd-funded
In an odd twist that runs counter to most automakers, Tesla is fairly transparent about the concept and design process, yet secretive about its production. While Musk (smartly) builds hype among the Tesla faithful, the company and its engineers fine-tune behind the scenes to try and make his dreams into a reality.
Right now, the reality is that the Model 3 hasn’t even been fully revealed to the public. Almost half a million people have placed deposits to reserve a vehicle that will be made... sometime in the future. Across its lineup, refundable deposits vary between $1,000 and $5,000 -- that means Model 3 reservation holders have collectively given Tesla roughly $450 million, just since March of this year. They're essentially bankrolling much of the company’s vehicle development and production. This is crowdfunding at the most advanced level, and no other automaker, in its wildest dreams, could ever get away with it. Basically, it’s the equivalent of shelling out $1,000 for a Kickstarter project you haven't even seen.