Tesla pulled the covers off the Model 3, its new electric car for the masses, on 31 March and it seems the masses have responded.

Elon Musk, CEO and co-founder of Tesla Motor has been regularly updating on the progress of Model 3 pre-orders via Twitter.

The passage of tweets makes for amusing reading, but it's also quite a feat. Here's how they panned out:

These are pre-orders on a scale that has surprised Tesla Motors, with Musk saying that they would have to re-think production planning, with 2017 the delivery date for the new electric model.

Tesla enjoys the sort of fan status that we don't often see for car manufacturers, with a fan-base that's responding more like Apple's die hard fans.

It's worth considering that this is 276k orders for a car that no one has yet had the chance to test drive. With the Tesla Model 3 costing from $35,000, that's a big commitment. However, within the reservation agreement, Tesla says that you can cancel your reservation and receive a full refund - you're not committing to buying the car.

It's also a lot of cash for Tesla Motors at the beginning of the production cycle, with pre-orders pulling in $1000 (or £1000) each, that's around $276 million. Not a bad starting point for this small electric car company, especially if they all translate into full orders.

We suspect that other established car makers are wondering whether they should be ramping up their own electric car offerings too.