California electric vehicle maker Tesla has confirmed that its latest auto offering – the mass-market targeted Model 3 – could cost as little as $US25,000 once US tax credits are factored into the price.
Tesla, best known for its high-end prestige electric vehicles, the Model S, said last September – and CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter – that the cost of the Tesla Model 3 would be $US35,000 when it was unveiled in March this year and opened up for peer-orders.
@elonmusk $35k price, unveil in March, preorders start then.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 2, 2015
But the carmaker has since clarified that $35,000 price tag doesn’t include the significant federal and state incentives available to electric car buyers, which would likely take the cost closer to $US25,000.
“We can confirm it’s $35,000 before incentives,” a Tesla spokeswoman, Khobi Brooklyn, told Bloomberg. “We haven’t changed our minds.”
What this might mean for the Australian market is not yet clear, but as Bloomberg points out, for US consumers this is a crucial distinction – considering America’s federal and state tax incentives combined “can knock off as much as $10,000 from the cost of purchase, drastically increasing the size of the market for the Model 3.”
Indeed, according to Bloomberg’s Tom Randall, “a $25,000 Tesla would upend the US auto market.”
The base incentive is a $US7,500 federal income tax credit available to everyone in the country, Bloomberg notes – an amount that would expand the potential market by roughly 50 percent, according to analysts.
Additional state incentives would knock the price down further in more than a dozen states, including an additional $6,000 in Colorado and $2,500 in California, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. The only limiting factor for Tesla sales in this price range, says Bloomberg, would be the company’s ability to meet demand.
On that front, Musk also Tweeted in September that the company would start production of the Model 3 “in about 2 years. Fully operational Gigafactory needed.” So prospective buyers have plenty of time to save up.