How much does a Tesla cost

How much does a Tesla car cost?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

When most people think of electric vehicles (EVs), there’s one prominent name that’s top of mind: Tesla. It’s not all that surprising, considering that the electric car company owns roughly 80 percent of the electric car market share in the U.S. 

Tesla’s constantly innovating and releasing new electric car tech to the market, and today can boast of four commercially available car models, each with its own unique set of perks: the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, the Tesla Model 3, and the Tesla Model Y. In this article, we’ll break down the car prices for each of the different Tesla EV models, and explain how you should compare them.

Compare and discover new electric vehicles

Key takeaways

  • Tesla’s electric cars have base price ranges between $39,990-$129,990 depending on the model
  • Customization like paint changes, interior upgrades, and self-driving capabilities can tack on up to $19,000 more to your costs
  • Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for state or local incentives that will reduce the cost of a Tesla
  • You can easily compare electric car costs, aesthetics, ranges, and eligible incentives using EnergySage’s EV showroom

How much does a Tesla car cost?

Tesla’s current car line (Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y) has market sale price ranges between $39,990 – $129,990 – this is the cost before any tax incentives or local rebates. On the more affordable end is the Model 3, which Tesla first released in 2018. The car has a sticker price that comes in at a whopping $90,000 less than the company’s most expensive option: the Model S Plaid.

Keep in mind that the prices above don’t include any customization. Extras like paint changes, interior upgrades, and full self-driving capability can add anywhere from $2,000 to $19,000 onto your costs depending on your preferences.

Tesla model price comparison

Quick history of Tesla’s models: from Model S to Model Y

Tesla began commercially manufacturing their first electric car, the Roadster, back in 2008. However, it wasn’t until the company purchased its factory in Fremont, California that they started to build the four models we know and love today:

  • Tesla Model 3 (compact sedan)
  • Tesla Model S (mid-size luxury sedan)
  • Tesla Model X (mid-size SUV)
  • Tesla Model Y (compact SUV)

First came the Tesla Model S, a mid-size luxury sedan vehicle, back in 2012. And from there, Tesla went on to diversify its option set. Their first SUV option, the Model X, came to market in 2015, followed by their more affordable compact sedan option–the Model 3–three years later. Most recently, Tesla started shipping its first compact SUV, the Model Y, in 2020.

Excitingly, the electric car giant plans to release a new and improved version of its flagship electric car, the Roadster, in 2023. Tesla has promised that this sports convertible will be the quickest car in the world – we’ll have to wait and see!

Tesla model superlatives:

  • Most affordable: Tesla Model 3, Standard Plus ($39,990)
  • Most expensive: Tesla Model S, Plaid ($129,990)
  • Longest range: Tesla Model S, Long Range (405 miles)
  • Shortest range: Tesla Model 3, Standard Plus (262 miles)
  • Fastest top speed: Tesla Model S, Plaid (200 miles per hour)
  • Slowest top speed: Tesla Model Y, Long Range (135 miles per hour)
  • Newest model: Tesla Model Y (2020)
  • Oldest model: Tesla Model S (2012)

How much does a Tesla Model 3 cost?

Tesla’s Model 3 is their most affordable line of cars. With the base model selling for $39,990, this car is Tesla’s first attempt at a mass-market electric car to appeal to automobile shoppers of a wide range of budgets. And it’s working: the Model 3 has quickly become one of the most talked-about and popular electric cars thanks to its unique combination of performance and affordability. In fact, in 2020 the Model 3 was the 16th best selling car in the world – that’s including traditional gasoline-fueled cars! 

The Model 3 comes in three different versions ( Performance, Long Range, and Standard Plus) that offer driving ranges between 262 and 353 miles.

Tesla Model 3 product line: drivetrain, price, range, and top speed

PerformanceDual Motor All-Wheel Drive$56,990315162
Long RangeDual Motor All-Wheel Drive$49,990353145
Standard PlusRear-Wheel Drive$39,990262140

How much does a Tesla Model S cost?

Well known as one of the leading EVs available, the Model S is a popular sports car with top-end ranges and speeds to match. Similar to the Model 3, buying a Model S will cost more or less depending on the model you buy and the tax credits available. Model S pricing starts at $89,990, and the company offers two car variations that you can choose from: the Model S Long Range, and the Model S Plaid. The more expensive of the two–the Model S Plaid–has tri-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) and has a top speed of 200 miles per hour.

Tesla Model S product line: drivetrain, price, range and top speed

Long RangeDual Motor All-Wheel Drive$89,990405155
PlaidTri Motor All-Wheel Drive$129,990396200

How much does a Tesla Model X cost?

For most Tesla fanatics, their primary interest has long been around the company’s Model S sedan. That changed at the end of 2015 when Tesla released its highly anticipated SUV offering, the Model X. Though the Model X is often marketed as an electric SUV, its size more closely resembles a compact crossover like a Subaru Forrester or Toyota Corolla. The Model X is the fastest sport utility vehicle in the automobile industry – the Plaid model can reach 60 mph in a mere 2.5 seconds! 

The Model X starts at a base price of $99,990 and comes in two versions: Model X Long Range and the Model X Plaid.

Tesla Model X product line: drivetrain, price, range and top speed

Long RangeDual Motor All-Wheel Drive$99,990360155
PlaidTri Motor All-Wheel Drive$119,990340163

How much does a Tesla Model Y cost?

Tesla released their newest electric car model–the Tesla Y–back in 2020. According to Elon Musk himself, the car shares about 75 percent of its components with its more affordable sibling, the Model 3. The main difference between the two is that the Tesla Y is a mid-size SUV, rather than a sedan. This extra space comes at an additional cost: the Model Y has a base price between $53,990 and $60,990 depending on whether you go with the Model Y Long Range or the Model Y Performance.

Tesla Model Y product line: drivetrain, price, range and top speed

Long RangeDual Motor All-Wheel Drive$53,990326135
PerformanceDual Motor All-Wheel Drive$60,990303155

Other Tesla car costs to consider

As with any other car purchase, paying for a car involves more than the prices we listed above, or the prices a manufacturer lists online. Additional fees–both ongoing and one-time payments–will increase the overall cost of buying a Tesla. When evaluating a Tesla purchase against other options, consider:

  • Taxes and fees: depends on the model car you buy, as well as the sales tax rate in your area.
  • Order fee: the nonrefundable fee Tesla charges to place your car order ($250)
  • Destination & doc fee: the fee Tesla charges to transport your car from the Tesla factory to your delivery location ($1,200)
  • Charging costs: varies based on your driving style, average mileage, the cost of electricity in your area, the car you drive, and more. Importantly, electric cars like Teslas typically offer significant fuel savings over gas-powered vehicles.
  • Service & maintenance costs: depends on your area, the car you drive, how often you drive, and more. Fun fact: according to Consumer Reports, EV and plug-in hybrid car drivers pay about half as much on car repairs and maintenance compared to drivers of cars with internal combustion engines.
  • Insurance: varies depending on your area, the cost of your car, your driving history, and more. 

It can be hard to truly assess the total costs of driving a Tesla given the variability in some of the factors listed above; fortunately, our EV showroom personalizes your estimated costs based on your geography, how long you plan to own your car, and how many miles you drive each year. You can get your own personalized EV cost assessment here.

EV incentives and tax breaks for Tesla cars

Given how much you can save with EV incentives, it’s important to understand your eligibility for any tax credits prior to purchasing an electric car. The country’s most advantageous EV incentive–the Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit–offers a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 on your electric vehicle purchase. However, this incentive is only available for the first 200,000 cars manufactured by a particular car maker, so if you purchase a popular electric car model, there’s a chance you won’t be able to take advantage of this incentive. Furthermore, you also need to have sufficient tax liability in order to take advantage of this incentive – what good is a credit towards your taxes if you don’t owe enough in taxes in the first place?

At the end of 2018, the full $7,500 federal tax credit available for Tesla electric vehicles was cut in half to $3,750, and dropped again to $1,875 in the second half of 2019. As of 2021, Tesla models are no longer eligible for the federal EV tax credit. This is because Tesla reached the threshold of 200,000 EVs sold back in July of 2018, triggering the phase-out period for the credit.

That said, your Tesla purchase may be eligible for other state or local incentives depending on where you live. For example, states like California, Maryland and Colorado offer cash incentives or credits for electric car owners. Others offer non-cash incentives like indefinite carpool access and free tolls. Regardless, there’s a good chance that the price tag for your Tesla car will look a lot better once you factor in credits and incentives.

Using EnergySage’s EV showroom, you can explore all of the electric vehicle incentives in your area by car make and model, tax filing status, and household income. Simply click the “Personalize Incentives” button and enter your zip code to get started.

Is buying a Tesla car worth it?

Of course, buying a Tesla will cost more than most cars upfront; despite the release of the more-affordable Model Y, it’s still regarded as a luxury vehicle and has the price tag to match. When it comes down to it, whether or not you should buy a Tesla depends on your preferences and personal finances. On the plus side, Tesla owners typically experience low maintenance costs and fuel savings relative to comparable luxury vehicles with gas-powered engines. Outside of financial savings, electric cars like Teslas also help reduce pollution, so if environmental stewardship is important to you, an electric car–a Tesla model or otherwise–is the way to go.

With any big purchase, it’s important to do a bit of research and compare your options before making a decision – and EnergySage’s EV showroom is a great place to start! Using our comparison feature, you can easily evaluate multiple cars side-by-side, including all-electric, hybrid, and gasoline models. Browse car options, explore local incentives, and get personalized costs and savings estimates, all in one place, all online.

ev content
Compare and discover new electric vehicles
Posted on by .
Categories: Electric Vehicles
Tags: ,

About Kerry Thoubboron

Kerry has worked in solar for more than 6 years, starting her career as an Energy Advisor dedicated to helping customers compare their options and make well-informed solar decisions. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Environmental Analysis and Policy. Outside of work, you can find Kerry snowboarding, watching The Office, or having passionate debates about which New England state is best (spoiler: it's Vermont).

32 thoughts on “How much does a Tesla car cost?

  1. Beatrice Moore

    Sounds challenging, but l’ll take the Hybrid.
    I can’t see myself driving a Tesla in an electrical

    1. Nikola

      You do realize.. the hybrid is basically an electric vehicle AND a gas combustion…

      Not to mention that there is literally no difference in an electrical storm as all cars are insulated from ground and are basically floating faraday cages.

  2. Stephen Spears

    The trip that was mentioned, the 1000 mile drive, I did it in a 2009 Toyota Camry hybrid. On average I was getting about 450 to 500 miles per tank of fuel. Yes, the liquid kind! So I drove from my home in Lancaster Ohio to just across the river from St. Louis Missouri and decided to fill up before I crossed over the Mississippi, as the gas prices were about $.20 cheaper in Illinois, which is rare! So I filled up there then continued my drive to Norman Oklahoma, and I decided to put some fuel in the car around Stillwater Oklahoma on 35 south. With Norman Oklahoma being a college town prices of gas is somewhat higher there because it is a college town, and businesses there that run convenient stores/gas stations know they will get the money from the college kids. Hence my feeling up at Stillwater. But even if I had not stopped, I would have still made it to Norman on what gas I had left. I’ve done it before in the same aforementioned car. I would stop long enough to get out and stretch my legs, grab something to drink, and I would hit the road. I had a cooler on the front seat that had sandwiches in it. I had chips and things in the backseat, and maybe every now and then I would get an urge for a cheeseburger and a sweet tea from McDonald’s so I would stop long enough to get that I would be in and out of McDonald’s and maybe 10 minutes. I drink plenty of coffee on the trip and yes I even had bathroom breaks, but I would be in and out quickly. I drove the entire 1000 mile trip by myself, I did not stop for a motel, so I saved money by not getting a motel room, and not dining in on $20 ribs or a $10 value meal etc. and with gas prices being really decent, it cost me $70 in fuel to drive from Lancaster Ohio to Norman Oklahoma. That’s quite a Big savings compared to that $445 but the person spent driving the Tesla! And a hybrid charges itself so you don’t have to battery swap every 200 miles or so. So give me that Camry hybrid any day of the week!

  3. Julia

    These things are way too expensive! Fortunately, Tesla isn’t the only maker of plugin vehicles.

    According to Edmunds dot com “true cost to own” calculator the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt have a lower five year cost of ownership than any car you can buy new or USED.

    You gotta love the Leaf! Talk about a quality car. Also, the insurance companies are all jumping on the opportunity to insure them… I found insurance for mine for $25/month from Insurance Panda… Not to mention the fact that every electric car buyer is still getting a federal government subsidy of $7500. I’m sure you’ll start seeing more and more EV’s in people’s garages over time…

    I wouldn’t mind driving one of the Tesla cars….BUT in REALITY….the average American consumer can not afford this car…

  4. Najeeb

    “Though the Model X is often marketed as an electric SUV, its size more closely resembles a compact crossover such as a Subaru Forrester or Toyota Corolla.”

    Corolla? What? That’s an insane thing to say.

  5. Nick

    Apparently one reason to eliminate fossil fueled cars is NOx emmissions such as NO and NO2.
    I would like to point out that a guy can’t get an erection without Nitric Oxide (NO).
    That’s why some poor old guys take Viagra.
    I think we need more fossil fuel cars and we need to breath deeply as much as possible!

    1. Betty

      Nick, I am 77 yrs old and my grandson’s wife drove me to Pensacola for doctor appointment in her Class 3 Tesla. I looked at her and said “how do I get in the car”. The car has a huge computer screen. I told the doctor about this Tesla and he said they are nice but he likes more “Voom and said he heard they would drive themselves”. Told him he needs a Ferrari. When we were coming home on Highway I 10 I asked if the car could drive itself. Lordy Mercy
      She took her hands off the wheel and I was totally Scared but amazed. She said if you don’t touch the steering wheel for a while the computer shows message “put little pressure on wheel”. She also said if she is shopping and it starts to rain you can use a phone app and tell the car computer to come and get her.
      Now that I know that , this old Granny will not faint if I see a Tesla with No Driver because I would for sure have fainted if I saw that. Dang car will park by itself. Sorry for long Post but I was just beyond words about that Tesla….

      1. Cid Miller

        Two young men just recently died (like in the past day) plus several more before then.
        Trusting in that Tesla have cost many their lives. Its tragic.
        The Tesla hit a tree and ingnited.
        The fire department was unable to put the fire out.
        With EVERY attempt it would reignite.
        They even tried to get ahold of Tesla as to how to put out the fire. NO RESPONSE FROM THEM.
        Basically if a Tesla starts on fire. You need to just allow it to burn up as well as the occupants inside.
        Horrific to watch and not be able to do ANYTHING but watch injured people die.
        DON’T ever buy a Tesla.

  6. JoshGriggs

    Alex, makes good points but only touches on the I’m practicality of these vehicles for long range travel. I saw family a pull up to the Tesla charger the other day, plug up and unload the kids and a picnic basket to have a feast in the dog walk area (eww) while awaiting their charge. However, 20 min charge only gets you… Tada! 152 miles.
    Then it’s time for ANOTHER picnic I don’t get hungry that fast.
    My bi-weekly commute from NJ to FL begs for combustion!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *