BURBANK, Calif. - Tesla founder Elon Musk stepped out to cheers and applause Friday evening as he unveiled the brand new Model 3, the company's affordable vehicle.
Thirty of those models went to customers at the well-attended event in Fremont, California.
"Let's hand out some cars," Musk said from the stage, where he stood near a gleaming red Tesla sedan.
After giving out the first 30, now Tesla will have some serious work to do. Hundreds of thousands of customers put down a $1,000 deposit to reserve a Model 3. Some people stood in line for hours to be among the first person to receive theirs, and many of them were vocal about it.
"'Where is my Model 3?' -- sometimes not phrased not quite as nicely as that," Musk said, quoting a frequent question from Tesla buyers. "Well, we're building the cars as fast as we can."
But that may be easier said than done because about half a million cars have been reserved.
"Frankly, we're going to be in production hell," Musk said with a chuckle. "Welcome, welcome."
Musk said production will ramp up over the next few months on the two version of the Model 3 -- a $35,000 option with a 220-mile range and a $44,000 option with a 310-mile range.
At the Tesla dealership in Burbank on Friday night, the charging stations were full and even non-Tesla owners stopped by, curious to see if the new model had arrived.
But for owners who already have their hands on a Model S or X, there likely won't be any Model 3s in their future.
"I don't know what to say but I really love this one," an owner of an older model Tesla said.
Musk said he hoped customers who submitted deposits Friday would receive their vehicles by the end of 2018.