Image Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
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The Least Expensive New Tesla Model 3 Available In the Northeast Costs $71,190

We spoke to Tesla and asked how much we needed to pay to take home a new Tesla Model 3 today. The answer was interesting for two reasons.

During our recent research into Tesla’s rapidly-rising prices, we came across two interesting facts almost by accident. If a person located in the Northeast wants to buy a Tesla Model 3 today, for immediate delivery or pickup, it is possible. But the cost is enormous.

Related Story: Cheapest Tesla Model 3 Now Tops $45K - There's Just One Catch

The $71K Tesla Sedan You Can Own Today
Tesla’s retail customer service has always struck us as top-notch. As a fan of the brand, one-time Tesla Model 3 shopper, and researcher, I have visited all of the New England Tesla locations. I’ve written two Google reviews of the two retail sites following my in-person visits, and both were glowing reviews. Tesla’s sales and support team are also outstanding, both in person and on the phone. The contrast to the non-existent public relations and marketing support team is stark. The only downside to Tesla's dealerships in the Metro Boston area is that they don't actually have any cars for sale.

We were investigating if the imaginary Standard Range Model 3 had run its course, and we were able to get confirmation that the low-cost, low-production “base” car is now dead and buried. However, in chatting with Tesla’s support team, we discovered, to our surprise, that if a person in the Northeast wants a new Tesla Model 3 for immediate delivery (as in today) two were available. If I understood the Tesla associate correctly, all I had to do was offer up payment, and one would be mine for the taking. However, this isn’t the “affordable” or "$35K" Tesla model we so often see media coverage about. No. Instead, it was an Uber tesla. The spec sheet actually has the word Uber in it.

Offered for immediate pickup or delivery was a $71,190 Model 3 Long Range All-Wheel Drive Performance Model. We asked for the full breakdown of the content of this model and were provided this list:

In-Stock For Delivery Model 3 LR AWD P Vehicle Details
Red Multi-Coat Paint
20’’ Überturbine Wheels
All Black Premium Interior
Performance Upgrade
Carbon Fiber Spoiler
Performance Pedals
Performance Brakes
Front and Rear Heated Seats
Full Self-Driving Capability
30-Day Premium Connectivity Trial

All of those features turn the “affordable” Model 3 into a rocket that can “fully self-drive.” Heck, Tesla even throws in heated seats! And they are black seats, a pricey adder unless you already opted for the $2,000 red paint.

Teslas In Stock
What surprised us most was that Tesla had any cars in stock at all. Tesla fans are reporting eight-month lead times on Model 3 cars that they place orders for today. Presumably, those are not the top-trim models Tesla has laying around gathering dust (that’s sarcasm). Images of empty dealer lots for Chevy, Tesla, Toyota, Ford, and other green vehicle brands are common on social media. With Tesla’s rapid growth being restrained by production, not customers (according to a Tweet today by Elon Musk himself), it surprised us that Tesla had these cars in stock. It is unlikely that they were cancellations. There were two identical ones available. Tesla also had two other cars, both Model S cars, in stock. But who wants a new Model S? Tesla barely sells the big sedan anymore.

An Answer In Search of a Question
Are people actually wondering how much it costs to drive home a Model 3 in the Northeastern United States today? We honestly didn’t know, so we Googled it (Inserted a query into a browser search bar). We typed, “how much to drive home a model 3 today?” There were 7,480,000,000 results. The top answer offered by Google was “$41,190” which came from an outdated Edmunds story. Heck, the cheapest Model 3 is now $45K, so we know that answer must be offered up based on the strength of the publication and its many earned pageviews over some time. We clicked the story, but it was un-dated.

Conclusion - Tesla Model 3 Cars Have a Very High Value
The Tesla Model 3 has the same passenger and cargo capacity as a Hyundai Elantra with heated seats and a black interior costing about $25K (if you can find one). That Tesla can sell a similarly-sized automobile for about triple that means that its owners find it to be worth the price.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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Actually that makes sense. Especially considering that a full $10,000 of that is just for FSD (full self driving), and a loaded Model 3 Performance is pushing $60K without FSD. A comparable BMW I4 M50 has a base price of $66K and can easily pass $90K with options. And at that price they are sold out until "Summer 2022".