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Tesla Model 3 pre-orders have begun in some parts of the world

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Elon Musk (Twitter)

If you were to take a really serious, old-school iPhone launch day with big lines in front of Apple Stores, but substitute a $35,000-plus giant gadget in place of a phone, you'd get Tesla Model 3 pre-order day. It's getting real out there.

Take this scene from Australia, where it is now the morning of March 31st — the first day that deposits for Tesla's mass-market sedan are being taken — and stores have begun working through the line of people waving their $1,000 deposits:

Basically, people are paying $1,000 to put their name down for a car they haven't seen, know very little about, and probably won't get for two years (perhaps longer in Australia, considering that Tesla has said that right-hand-drive versions would come later). There are many reasons for the pandemonium — Elon Musk's mystique, the general greatness of the Model S, the conditioning we've collectively received over the past decade to line up for new gadgets — but this marks the first time that many will actually be able to afford a Tesla.

It's a perfect storm of hype, really. American locations will start taking deposits tomorrow morning — but if you want to wait to actually see the car, Tesla's event will take place in the evening.