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Tesla now averaging more than 1,800 Model 3 reservations a day

The Tesla Model 3 will be an important model for Tesla, and maybe for EVs at large.

Tesla said Wednesday it is now averaging more than 1,800 net reservations each day for its cheaper electric car, following an event last week to hand over keys to the first 30 Model 3 vehicles.

Tesla did not provide an updated figure for its total waiting list. At the event last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the reservation number was over 500,000.

The strong demand is a mixed blessing for Tesla as it grapples with scaling up production to make good on deliveries for its first mass market car.

Tesla said it remains “on track” to hit its production goals. Tesla expects to produce 1,500 Model 3 vehicles in the upcoming third quarter, 5,000 vehicles produced per week by the end of this year and 10,000 per week by the end of 2018.

“What we have ahead of us, of course, is an incredibly difficult production ramp,” Musk said on a conference call with analysts Wednesday. But Musk stressed there should be “zero” doubt of hitting the 10,000 mark next year.

“This is maybe the best I’ve ever felt about Tesla, to be frank,” Musk added. “Last week stressed the Hell out of me.”

Even without the Model 3, Tesla’s car production is growing fast.

Tesla produced 25,708 vehicles in the second quarter, up 40% from the same period a year earlier. It delivered just over 22,000 Model S and Model X vehicles for the quarter.

The company said it is actually seeing an increase in orders for its luxury Model S vehicles, despite the launch of a cheaper model.

Tesla posted $2.79 billion in sales for the quarter, more than doubling from a year earlier. Its losses increased 37% to $401 million for the quarter as it ramps up for Model 3, but that loss was smaller than Wall Street expected.

Tesla stock jumped 8% in after hours trading Wednesday following the earnings report.