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Model 3 unveiled: Tesla buyers line up in Rocklin to reserve one

About 350 people wanting to purchase the newest Tesla model waited in line Thursday morning in Rocklin.

The promise of an affordable electric car from Tesla Motors had people lining up to reserve one in the Sacramento region and at showrooms around the state.

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In Rocklin, they came from all around the region. Some arrived the day before.

Tesla unveiled its Model 3 Thursday night at its Los Angeles design studio. It doesn't go on sale until late 2017, but potential buyers could reserve one with a $1,000 deposit at Tesla stores starting Thursday morning.

At a starting price of $35,000 — before federal and state government incentives — the Model 3 is less than half the cost of Tesla's previous models. The car is expected to have a range of at least 200 miles when fully charged, about double what drivers get from competitors in its price range, such as the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.

“We are standing in line for one of the new models that will be unveiled,” said Richard Casias of Davis. “Being 120th in line, is better than last. We got here about 8 a.m. I like the affordability and Tesla performance of the new model.”

Jason McCoy said that he arrived to take his place near the front of the line at 4 p.m. Wednesday. He was more than ready when Tesla opened the doors to waiting potential buyers at 10 a.m. Thursday.

“The reason I wanted a Tesla is because I have a Volkswagon diesel,” said Jason McCoy of Sacramento. “Of course, with the diesel scandal I have got to get rid of that. So were going to pay $1,000 and get our name on a list.”

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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