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The Cheapest Tesla Model 3 is Now $45,000

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With the demand for electric vehicles rising and EV production picking up the pace to match it, prices are slowly declining. With the arrival of the affordable $35,000 base model being pushed back until 2019, Tesla has announced a new mid-range Model 3 for just $10,000 more.

This mid-range option is built with the same exact battery pack as the long-range Model 3, which has a range of up to 310 miles. The difference is, the mid-range Model 3's battery pack will have fewer cells—meaning a range shortened to 260 miles, but a lower price. It also has a decreased top speed of 125 mph and 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds (compared to the long-rage model’s 145 mph and 0-60 mph in around five seconds).


Basically, we’re looking at the same car, just... one that doesn’t go quite as far.

If you want any of the other fancy features, like advanced Autopilot, that’s going to be $5,000 extra. You’re also not going to get the all wheel drive option on the mid-range model; it’s sticking solely with rear wheel drive.


Despite the fact that it’s been announced and is available for purchase on Tesla’s website, you’re still not going to get your mid-range Model 3 before February at the earliest if you reserve one immediately.

A statement from Tesla reads as follows:

As Model 3 production and sales continue to grow rapidly, we’ve achieved a steady volume in manufacturing capacity, allowing us to diversify our product offering to even more customers. Our new Mid-Range Battery is being introduced this week in the U.S. and Canada to better meet the varying range needs of the many customers eager to own Model 3, and our delivery estimate for customers who have ordered the Standard Battery is 4-6 months.

Tesla now advertises the cheapest Model 3, after the $7,500 federal EV tax credit and an estimated $4,300 in “gas savings,” as $33,200. Just remember that starting next year you’re not going to be eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit that’s given to buyers of EVs. That’s because Tesla has sold 200,00 vehicles, thus starting a phase-out of their tax credit by the time this vehicle goes on sale. You can still nab $3,750 starting in January of 2019—but the credit will disappear entirely at the end of that year.

Previous Model 3 editions could be purchased for up to $86,000, depending on what options you added to it—making this $40k drop a pretty big change. Affordability is always a promising sign for a large-scale EV adoption, and a diversification of its products means Tesla is seeing some level of success.


I’m not sure how this will impact the $35,000 car supposedly coming in 2019, but I have a feeling there are plenty of people out there who are eager to get their hands on a Model 3 now that it’s significantly more affordable.

This story has been updated to clarify when the EV tax credit cut goes into effect and how that affects the car’s price now.