After receiving an astonishing number of reservations during the first few weeks following the original unveiling of the Model 3 in March 2016, Tesla refused to update the total number of reservations over 375,000, the last official number from May 2016.

Now CEO Elon Musk finally confirms that Model 3 reservations have surged to over half a million cars.

At about $1,000 of deposit per reservation (it differs in different countries), it represents over $500 million and a potential of roughly $22 billion in sales at an average price of $42,000 per car.

We already had a pretty good idea based on Tesla’s total customer deposit account, but the company kept refusing to update the official count – saying that it is not representative of the actual demand for the Model 3.

At a press briefing yesterday, Musk accepted to give the first update in over a year, but he again reiterated that he doesn’t believe that it reflects demand for the vehicle since they are actively “anti-selling” it:

“We do everything we can to not sell the car.”

Musk added that he expects the number would blow up if they were to actually try to sell it.

The CEO believes that the company already has a big enough backlog to last them through late 2018 if they can reach their production targets.

Last night, Tesla updated its Model 3 FAQ sections to include a new delivery date estimator and it reflects the high number of reservations.

Anyone who didn’t reserve within the first week or outside of the US is looking at a significant wait.

Musk was confident that Tesla would reach an annual production rate of 500,000 units next year, at which point the wait should be more reasonable, but in the meantime, the CEO says that it’s difficult to predict the volume produced during the ramp up.

Here’s our recent coverage of the Model 3 following the launch:

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