I’m not going to bash the Tesla Model 3. I like the idea of the electric car, and I like the innovation that Tesla is doing with their vehicles. I am going to do a little math though. Why? Because it’s Friday and everyone loves math on Friday’s.

So Telsa has 325,000 pre-orders for the Model 3. That is 325,000,000 dollars given them to hopeful buyers that are willing to wait for a new car, and wait they will and here is why. “Time.”

There is only so many hours in the day, and you can only assemble a car so fast. With a launch date set for “Late 2017” the first cars won’t start rolling off the assembly line for 19 months from now at the soonest. Now, let’s look at that 325,000 order number and divide it out over time.

Say Tesla sets a moderate time frame of 48 months to build all 325,000 Model 3’s.

325,000 divided by 48 months equals 6,770 a month. 6770 divided by 30 equals 225 a day. Which is about 9.5 cars an hour.

The Ford F150 is one of the most popular vehicles in America. In comparison Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant produces about 1,250 of these trucks every day it operates. or roughly 62.5 trucks assembled by 1000 people over a 20 hour shift. (I see Tesla hiring a boat load of assembly line workers. Don’t forget Tesla will have to train them all and that adds even more time to the problem)

Now let’s revise our numbers a bit. Let’s say half of the 325 thousand drop out of the race to get a Model 3. How many would Tesla still have to crank out and at what rate? So, 162,500 Model 3’s over 48 months.

162, 500 divided by 48 months equals 3,385 a month. 3,385 or about 112 cars a day, if Tesla works 30 days a month, 24 hours a day. so 4.75 cars an hour every month for 48 months non stop to reach total demand. And that doesn’t include production of the Model S and Model X. That folks is a tall order, and remember they do not have a dedicated plant to built the Model 3 in yet.

I’m not saying Tesla can’t do it, or won’t do it. I’m just thinking it’s going to be a while after late 2017 before some people see their Model 3 and quite a bit can change in the next 3 to 4 years. I wonder if we’ll have flying electric cars by 2020?