Tesla Vice-President of Business Development Diarmuid O’Connell was in Amsterdam yesterday for the AVERE E-mobility Conference. The long-time Tesla executive, and one of the company’s first 50 employees, gave a short presentation before doing a Q&A with the audience.
O’Connell shared a quick update on the increasing number of Model 3 reservations Tesla has been receiving since unveiling the vehicle last month. After a week, Tesla confirmed in a blog post having received 325,000 Model 3 reservations, another week later, O’Connell now says that “something approaching 400,000 people” have already reserved the vehicle.
The Vice President said that the public response gave the company confidence in investing in its production for the third generation vehicle, but in his opinion, there’s an even more important consequence of the number of reservations Tesla received:
“It delivers a message to the industry that there’s incredible demand for great electric vehicles out there.”
During the Q&A session, someone in the audience described the Model 3 unveiling as a “huge success” and followed up by asking how Tesla plans to deliver on all those pre-orders. O’Connell responded:
“It’s a success as far as it is right now. The real success will be delivering a great product at the volumes are possible and necessary.”
He then quoted CEO Elon Musk on his plans to increase production following the higher than expected number of reservations. He said that Tesla learned a lot from the Model S and now the Model X production ramp up. They will use this knowledge to get to higher volumes quicker.
O’Connell also said that Tesla plans to expand its lineup following the Model 3. He emphasized the Tesla pickup truck that’s been talked about before by CEO Elon Musk.
Here’s a video of O’Connell’s presentation filmed by Vincent Everts:
The executive also discussed a few other interesting subjects including ‘Tesla Energy’, vehicle-to-grid technology, Tesla’s competition, and more.
We’ve reached out to Tesla for clarification on the number and will report back anything notable.