The U.S. electric vehicle (EV) industry is poised for further success in 2019 after a massive year of growth in 2018. There’s no one single reason for the uptick in EV sales in America – states like California are requiring car dealers to offer electric car options, costs are coming down, battery technology is improving, and manufacturers are inventing stylish new designs for the modern-day electric car.
One of the biggest driving forces behind the surge in EV popularity comes back to a familiar household name: Tesla. The massive carmaker has three vehicle products on the market: the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and the Tesla Model 3. Thanks to the consistent hype and rising attention around the world’s only full-scale clean energy corporation, many are wondering: what does a Tesla actually cost? In this article, we’ll explain the breakdown for Tesla car prices in terms of its different EV products and how you should go about comparing them.
How much does a Tesla car cost?
The current Tesla car line (Model S, Model X, Model 3) ranges in price from $35,000 – $124,000 before tax incentives for electric cars. The cost of Tesla’s new Model 3 (rolled out en masse at the end of 2018) has finally reached its promised sticker price of $35,000 after several months of higher prices and sequential price step-downs.
How much does a Tesla Model 3 cost?
Tesla’s newest car, the Model 3, is their most affordable line of vehicles. With the base model selling for $35,000, this car is Tesla’s first attempt at a true mass-market electric car that will appeal to automobile shoppers of all budgets. The Model 3 comes in five versions: the Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range, Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range Plus, Rear-Wheel Drive Long Range, All-Wheel Drive Long Range, and All-Wheel Drive Performance.
Tesla Model 3 product line: price range, and top speed
|Tesla Model 3 product||Base price (before tax credits)||Range of distance (miles)||Top speed (MPH)|
|Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range||$35,000||220||130|
|Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range Plus||$37,500||240||140|
|Rear-Wheel Drive Long Range||$44,500||325||140|
|All-Wheel Drive Long Range||$48,500||310||145|
|All-Wheel Drive Performance||$59,500||310||162|
The Model 3 has quickly become one of the most talked-about and popular electric cars available due to its unique combination of performance and affordability. The newly revealed and upcoming Tesla Model Y is supposed to share the majority of its parts with the Model 3, so expect more from where this groundbreaking car came from.
How much does a Tesla Model S cost?
When wondering what the Model S will cost you, the answer depends on the model you buy and the tax credits available. The Tesla Model S (pictured above) comes at a starting price of $85,000 in 2019. The Tesla Model S is offered in 3 variations based on how much electric charge the car holds and how fast it can accelerate (and consequently, how far it can travel): Model S Long Range, Model S Performance, and Model S Performance with Ludicrous Mode.
Tesla Model S product line: price, range and top speed
|Tesla Model S Product||Base Price (before tax credits)||Range of Distance (miles)||Top Speed (MPH)|
|Model S Long Range||$85,000||335||155|
|Model S Performance||$99,000||315||155|
|Model S Performance w/ Ludicrous Mode||$119,000||315||155|
Though it is well known as one of the leading EVs available, the Model S is also a popular sports car, with top speeds to match. The difference in the upgrade between a Performance and Performance w/ Ludicrous Mode Model S, for example, is merely the acceleration capacity of the vehicle.
The Performance line will always have a faster 0-to-60 miles per hour acceleration and overall faster top speed, but it does not have a longer range overall in terms of miles traveled. Similar to Apple’s product release strategy with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S pairings, the Performance models are meant to provide a slight product upgrade for the true Tesla fanatic.
How much does a Tesla Model X cost?
For most Tesla fanatics, the primary interest has long been around the company’s Model S sedan. That changed at the end of 2015 when Tesla released its hugely anticipated SUV offering, the Tesla Model X. The Model X starts at a base price of $88,000 and has 3 product offerings: Model X Long Range, Model X Performance, and Model X Performance with Ludicrous Mode
Tesla Model X product line: price, range and top speed
|Tesla Model X product||Base price (before tax credits)||Range of distance (miles)||Top speed|
|Model X Long Range||$89,500||295||155|
|Model X Performance||$104,000||289||155|
|Model X Performance w/ Ludicrous Mode||$124,000||289||155|
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. Nevertheless, the Model X seats 7 and boasts a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 2.8 seconds in its Ludicrous Mode model – an unprecedented feat in the EV industry. Generally known as the Tesla Crossover, the Model X is the fastest sport utility vehicle in the automobile industry.
Tesla cars, EV incentives, and tax breaks
Update January 2019: At the end of 2018, the full $7,500 federal tax credit for Tesla electric vehicles was cut in half to $3,750, and it will be dropped again to $1,875 in the second half of 2019. This is because Tesla reached the threshold of 200,000 EVs sold in July of 2018, triggering a phase-out period of time for the tax credit.
In the world of electric vehicles, it is important to understand your eligibility for tax credits. To begin with, the Federal tax credit for electric vehicles offers a rebate 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, and it’s entirely dependent on the amount of income tax you pay each year.
Due to the big price tag for a Tesla car, many Tesla buyers have seen the complete value of this federal incentive when they get their Tesla, but it should be specified that you will need to be paying at least $7,500 in income tax to cash in on the entire rebate.
Beyond the federal tax incentive, there are many state-specific incentives as well to explore depending on where you live. Some states like California, Maryland and Colorado offer cash incentives or credits. 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 be significantly reduced once you factor in credits and incentives.