The cheapest Tesla Model 3 is now on sale for $46,990 after this month’s price increase, making the Model 3 entry-level. 34% more expensive than three years ago. Surcharges, some of which are industry standards, raise the base Model 3’s total price to $48,440.
The Model 3 was advertised long before it was introduced in 2016 as an affordable car for around $35,000. The MSRP for the most affordable variant of electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf has dropped from 2019 to 2022, even without inflation. (During this period, the Bolt dropped from $36,620 to $32,495, and the Leaf from $29,990 to $27,400.)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk made the announcement on Twitter. Sunday
shortly before the latest price increase, Tesla “is seeing significant recent inflationary pressures in terms of raw materials and logistics.”
Tesla appears to have been unaffected by price increases over the years, as the Model 3 was the world’s best-selling electric car in 2021 with around 540,000 units sold. Since the release of the Model 3, Tesla has become the most valuable automaker in the world, only years after it faced the question of whether it would survive as a business.
But the price difference for what is considered an entry-level Model 3 appears to be a departure from Tesla’s original plans. (Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.)
Musk said in 2013
The CNBC interview says the automaker will build the car at a cost of “on the order of $35,000.” Tesla unveiled the Model 3 in April 2016, with Musk saying “in terms of price, of course it’s going to be $35,000.”
Tesla began shipping Model 3 in July 2017
with over half a million reservations for a $35,000 car. But Tesla didn’t ship its first $35,000 Model 3 until April 2019.
The $35,000 Model 3 hardware matched the $39,500 version of the car, but Tesla used software to limit battery range and disable seat heaters. The $35,000 Model 3 also came without Autopilot, Tesla’s driver-assistance software that is now standard on the cheapest Model 3. Now
The most affordable Model 3 has 52 miles more range and a slightly higher top speed of 140 mph versus 130 mph. Price aside, the only obvious downside to today’s most affordable Tesla is a slightly slower 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds versus 100 km/h. 5.6
seconds. The $35,000 car was also not purchasable online, which seemed to encourage customers to buy a more expensive car.
“Buying is a little inconvenient, you just need to call or visit the store,” Musk said in an interview. call 2019
Musk also described 2006
that Tesla planned to build a sports car first, then an “affordable car”, and then “an even more affordable car”.
Musk recalled the plan at the bottom of the Tesla battery in 2020. He described the Model 3 and Model Y as “premium cars for the mass market”.
While you couldn’t buy a $35,000 Model 3 back then, Tesla promised an even lower price.
“Our goal has always been to try and make an affordable electric car,” Musk said. said
. “I think in about three years we will be confident that we can make a very attractive $25,000 electric car.”
in January 2022, Tesla is not currently working on a $25,000 car.
“At some point, we will do it,” Musk said. “But we already have enough on our plate right now.”
Chris Isidore contributed to this report.