Tesla is taking orders for its Model 3 electric sedans throughout the U.S. and Canada, no reservations required.
Previously, would-be Model 3 owners had to put down a $1,000 deposit to secure a place in line to buy the car. Now, anyone in North America can order one via Tesla's website.
Those who reserved a Model 3 early helped Tesla get a sense of the market's demand for the cars well before the company was manufacturing them. Their Model 3 deposits also gave Tesla something of an interest-free loan.
Reservation holders and new customers alike must pay a $2,500 deposit to move their Model 3 orders forward. The deposits go toward the overall cost of their cars. The $2,500 to $3,500 total deposit becomes nonrefundable once Tesla assigns the customer a vehicle identification number, typically within a few days of their order. Tesla has required $2,500 deposits from people buying its earlier Model S and Model X vehicles.
Customers who sought refunds — both on their $1,000 reservation and $2,500 deposits — in recent weeks shared correspondence with CNBC that showed Tesla repays reservations in about two weeks, but refunds the $2,500 deposits directly to their credit cards within a few days.