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Las Vegan resident among thousands to make deposit on Tesla Model 3

Las Vegas resident Adam Manley sat in front of his computer March 31 waiting for the clock to strike 7:30 p.m. so he could make a purchase.

Manley wasn’t bidding for an item on eBay.

He wasn’t buying concert tickets for T-Mobile Arena.

Instead, Manley wanted to be one of the first to make a reservation for Tesla Motors’ Model 3 electric car. He submitted a $1,000 deposit and now he must wait for the prototype vehicles that aren’t due to be rolled out until late 2017.

“Absolutely I can wait. I’m a diehard,” Manley said. “I ordered 7:30 on the dot as soon as I could. I was waiting and watching the clock until the online reservations began.”

Manley went to the Tesla sales office on West Badura Avenue near Jones Boulevard this week to ask questions and get more information on the Model 3.

Tesla booked more than 100,000 reservations in the first 90 minutes and has taken about 300,000 reservations and deposits since March 31. No figures are available by cities or states but it’s a safe assumption that Southern Nevada has its fair share of reservations from people like Manley who already owns an electric car.

The Model 3 starting price is $35,000, compared with Tesla’s Model S which starts at about $76,000. Manley bought a fully loaded used 2015 Model S for less than $80,000.

Manley, who works in retail management, said it’s about cost savings. He will be eligible for a $7,500 U.S. electric car tax credit, and he gets a discounted rate with NV Energy for his home electric bill.

“There’s no oil change and no other fluids than windshield washer fluid,” Manley said. “Everything is included except for tires. They will take care of the brakes and anything that needs to be done. Your warranty is for eight years and miles are no longer a concern. I can drive 700,000 miles and I will still be fully warrantied.”

Tesla isn’t doing media interviews but releasing details through the Twitter account of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and through its blog.

It describes the sedan as going up to 215 miles on a charge, slightly less than the Model S, and going from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds. That’s slightly below the Model S.

“There are a lot of perks to owning a Tesla, and one of them is it’s wicked fast,” said Adam’s wife, Jessica Manley. “It’s the fastest four-door sedan ever created. It’s not a gradual acceleration. It’s a fun car.”

Jessica Manley said she will keep the Model S as her car, and Adam will drive the Model 3. Since they both need a car, they could get something in the interim until the Model 3 is ready, but said she said she loves the green car concept.

“It‘s much better for the planet in general,” she said. “We’re trying to eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels.”

Tesla has charging stations around the country to cater to drivers who take their car on a trip. The Model S will map out a route to stop for charges, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, Jessica Manley said. That’s not a problem because of a lot of charging stations are next to restaurants where drivers can charge their car on a lunch stop, she said.

The biggest concern raised by industry analysts and other experts since the reservations started is whether Tesla can deliver on its promise to roll out many of the cars by the end of 2017 to meet demand. It has delivered about 125,000 since 2008 and will need a production boost.

Adam Manley is like a lot of people who’ve ordered their Model 3. He said he’s patient and has no intention of dropping his order. He’s even upgrading from the $35,000 base and is counting the days until they’re ready.

“It’s fully refundable if I do change my mind,” Manley said. “I’m not going to.”

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