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How much does a Tesla car cost?

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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.

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How much does a Tesla car cost?

The current Tesla car line (Model S, Model X, Model 3) ranges in cost from $35,000 – $124,000 before tax incentives for electric cars. The cost of Tesla’s Model 3 (rolled out en masse at the end of 2018) has reached its promised sticker price of $35,000 after several months of higher prices and sequential price step-downs.

tesla car cost comparison chart

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 productBase price (before tax credits)Range of distance (miles)Top speed (MPH)
Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range$35,000220130
Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range Plus$37,500240140
Rear-Wheel Drive Long Range$44,500325140
All-Wheel Drive Long Range$48,500310145
All-Wheel Drive Performance$59,500310162

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 ProductBase Price (before tax credits)Range of Distance (miles)Top Speed (MPH)
Model S Long Range$85,000335155
Model S Performance$99,000315155
Model S Performance w/ Ludicrous Mode$119,000315155

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 productBase price (before tax credits)Range of distance (miles)Top speed
Model X Long Range$89,500295155
Model X Performance$104,000289155
Model X Performance w/ Ludicrous Mode$124,000289155

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 model x falcon doors
The Model X offers falcon wing doors and seats 7 people

Tesla cars, EV incentives, and tax breaks

Update for 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.

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31 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….

  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!!


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