Tesla launches new $45,000 Model 3

Andrew Cummings
October 19, 2018

But if you still want to hold out for an even cheaper Tesla, the company has promised a base model that will cost $35,000 sometime in 2019.

This is not the long-awaited $35,000 version, however; the mid-range Model 3 starts at $45,000.

Customers taking delivery starting in January will only be able to claim $3,750 for the federal EV tax credit. It is not clear how numerous more than 400,000 reservations for the Model 3 are for the base models. Tesla has been focused on ramping up production to fill those higher-priced orders.

The Model 3 is a four-door compact sedan that can seat up to "five adults comfortably, and the word comfortably is the key", Musk said.

Musk said on Twitter in May that if the company shipped the $35,000 version right away, Tesla would "lose money [and] die". But Musk said a "truer cost of ownership" for the midrange version would be about $31,000, his estimate for discounting the cost of gas.

To get the Mid Range into production quicker than previously anticipated, Tesla uses the same battery as the Long Range but packs it with fewer cells. A cheaper rear-wheel version will no longer be available.

While the cheaper version of the auto is significantly lower than the $54,000 base price for the all-wheel-drive version that Tesla has been selling, some bears are honing in on various drawbacks of the model, as well as citing a great level of uncertainty that still surrounds Tesla's first mass-market vehicle, promised at a baseline price of $35,000.

The move could frustrate Tesla fans who put down a $1,000 deposit two years ago for what they believed would be a sleek electric sedan costing about $27,500 after tax incentives.

As with other Model 3 versions, Tesla hasn't revealed a precise battery capacity; but if it corresponds to range, this battery pack would factor in at about 63 kwh. That's a timeline that could just eke a number of cars through for delivery-especially perhaps in California and on the West Coast-in time for the full $7,500 tax credit.

The only available Model 3 for the previous year has been a long-range version, offered mostly at luxury prices. Tesla says delivery for the new mid-range Model 3 should take six to 10 weeks.

Other reports by iNewsToday