Tesla Model 3 actual cost.
John Goreham's picture

New Mid-Range Model 3 - Tesla Just Can't Resist The Urge To Exaggerate Its Pricing

Tesla drops a lower-priced Model 3. Like always, the luxury automaker can't just be honest about its price.
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Tesla's Model 3 is an amazing new car, that receives rave reviews from EV-advocacy media sites, and has a huge backlog of pre-orders. So why does Tesla feel the need to continue to exaggerate what a great deal it is? This week, the news is that Tesla has a shorter-range slower Model 3. Tesla promotes the new vehicle as having a price of just $30,700. However, the minimum actual cost is $46,200. We configured this new Tesla Model 3 trim with just two options, red paint and autopilot and the price came to $53,700. Here's why there is such a huge disconnect between the actual price and the imaginary price Tesla wants you to remember.

model 3

The first part of the flim-flam is Tesla's deducting the full federal tax credit plus a state rebate. This despite the fact that Tesla's full federal tax credit is ending in a matter of weeks and not every state offers a rebate on EVs. The second part of this seemingly "bait and switch" type of price scheme is the "$4,300 In Gas Savings" that a Model 3 buyer will supposedly enjoy. Except that there are other EVs on the market. This is 2018, and there are 40 other electrified vehicles for sale today in America. What are the gas savings for a Tesla Model 3 compared to say, a Nissan Leaf? Zero. How about a Chevy Bolt? Zero. How about a Prius Prime? Pretty much zilch. How about the vehicle that Tesla put at the top of its "non-Tesla-trade-in" list, the Prius hybrid. In my state, where electricity is over $0.22/kWh pretty much zero. We think you get the point.

The last part of the shady pricing scheme is Tesla leaving out the mandatory $1,200 Destination and Delivery fee it chooses to impose on customers. Even those who pick up their Model 3 at the Freemont factory where it is built pay this. Don't confuse that with taxes and documentation fees. Those are separate.

The Tesla Model 3 may well be one of the best cars in America. Which makes Tesla's odd reliance on fake pricing so weird.

Related Story - Tesla's Seemingly Deceptive Pricing For Model 3 Will Continue Into Second Year of Sales

Model 3 Pricing, Red, With Autopilot:
Red Model 3


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Comments

Anyone could successfully prosecute Elon Musk and Tesla for fraudulent pricing. Elon Musk's logic and claims about the safety of his disastrous Autopilot is also absurdly stupid. Elon Musk is one really big liar. Even the phony fuel savings are fraudulent - electric prices vary enormously across the country, California's being very expensive, Then there is the issue of Supercharger prices. There has been far too little talk about the expenses that a Tesla vehicle brings with t - like the "checkups", the high cost of insurance, the very poor collision repair experiences related by owners, and poor maintenance repairs. The Model 3, in the words of engineers who examined the car's structure, was designed to be easier to assemble and sacrificed ease of maintenance and repair. There are horror stories of a small paint scratch on a fender requiring 3 man days of labor and $6800 to fix. The car is far worse than shallow reviews are aware. I would not ever consider this amateur hour automobile, which is vastly overpriced and these days inferior to most EVs with respect to technology - driving ranges, battery recharge speeds, practical interiors, etc So what is Tesla's "terrific" tech these days? Installing a video game in their preposterously stupid dash touchscreen. (slightly edited to be PG-13)