From now on, leasing contracts of new Tesla vehicles will not allow to buy the models after the contract ends (up until today this ban only affected Model 3). The news is that now this restriction will affect all new models that sign the leasing contract; the only two options that Tesla offers now are the renewal of the vehicle or the extension of the contract.
NEWS: Tesla has updated the terms of their leasing program by removing the ability to purchase your vehicle when your lease expires.According to Lease-End Options support page, leases that began on or after April 15, 2022 “are not eligible for purchase.” https://t.co/Cl9zM5niG9— Sawyer Merritt (@SawyerMerritt) April 15, 2022
In 2019 Tesla already announced that it would not allow customers who leased a Model 3 to buy it at the end of the contract, which is usually a common option in this type of agreement; the justification at the time was that these used vehicles would become part of the autonomous transport fleet that the company was developing, called Tesla Network.
Then if Tesla wants to start building up a fleet of autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles, it could mean that the Tesla Network is closer. The reason could be found in the second hand market, perhaps; but anyway, three years later, Tesla Network is hardly mentioned on the news and we can only assume it is still moving behind the scenes waiting for the right time.
On the contrary, what is actually making headlines is the increase in the price of second-hand Tesla models: both the shortage of components that limit their production, and the end of federal aid and state subsidies for the purchase of EVs have made Tesla a more expensive car, and for which you have to wait months for actual delivery. This has greatly conditioned the used cars offer, where the Model 3 is the fastest-selling car; as well as its price, which in some offers actually exceeds its original sale price.
Now, Tesla does not allow the purchase at the end of the lease period of any of its models, as can be seen on its website: as of April 15, no new vehicle can be purchased at the end of the leasing contract and if the contract is not extended, it will be owned back by Tesla.
Whether the reason is that Tesla is preparing for its Robo-taxi fleet launch - destined for the Tesla Network - or simply because the company wants to participate more actively or even manipulate the second-hand market up to a certain extent, we will be able to see in the coming months.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.