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(Pocket-lint) - 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.

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

Writing by Chris Hall.