Tesla Motors wins early orders

US-based Tesla Motors has received more than 115,000 pre-orders for its next electric vehicle, the day before it even unveiled a prototype of the car.

Although deliveries of the ‘Model 3’ are not due to start until late next year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has targeted sales of 500,000 by 2020, a figure that would fulfil his ambition of creating the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle.

The pre-order number is more than double Tesla’s total annual sales last year and much higher than most analysts had expected.

The new car will have a range of at least 215 miles on a single charge, Musk said, describing that figure as a minimum that the company expected to exceed.

Unveiling the first prototypes of the car, designed as a starter luxury vehicle and priced starting at $35,000, Musk revealed that even the base model would accelerate from 0-60mph in less than six seconds, come with the sensors needed to turn it into an autonomous vehicle, and have free access to the company’s network of supercharging stations.