Tesla Model 3 introduced with mid-range battery pack at $45,000

Tesla Model 3 introduced with mid-range battery pack at $45,000

If you believe Tesla's calculations, the mid-range model's cost works out to $34,400 once you factor in that full tax credit and gas savings over a six-year period.

However, there's just one catch, the vehicle isn't going to cost exactly $35,000 for customers, it will cost $45,000. Thursday's move to launch a version of a Model 3 with a slightly lower price is progress in this direction. There's now thousands of Model 3 cars leaving the Gigafactory production line every month, but none of them cost $35,000 to buy yet. The base price will be $45,000. It estimates the actual price, after estimated savings, at closer to $33,000, including gas savings, for a rear-wheel drive version with an estimated 260-mile range and a 5.6-second race to 60 miles an hour.

The change in price structure means the long-range version has only All Wheel Drive (AWD) option and costs $54,000.

Musk said Thursday the auto would be sold via Tesla's "super simple new order page", which estimated that delivery for its midrange model would take six to 10 weeks.

In New York, the $2,000 subsidy would get the price for the new Model 3 to $35,500 for buyers who meet the December 31 deadline. The company, under Elon Musk, has treated vehicle production in a way most people treat phones - regular software updates add more features, and every now and then, Elon Musk adds some fuel (pardon the pun) to the fire by making some extravagant claim that most of us have learned by now to know is extravagant. Musk did hint that the cheapest Model 3 may arrive early next year, tweeting that shipping cars with partially filled battery packs was better than waiting until February.

More news: Manafort To Be Sentenced Feb. 8

The new version is now the cheapest available variant of Tesla 3 priced at $45,000.

Now there are three choices: The new one, the performance model, and a "long-range" version between the two. For example, NY offers a further $2,000 incentive, dropping the price down to $35,500. And while that may not be a dealbreaker in itself, it's drifting farther away, once again, from the Model 3's original promise.

A Tesla representative on Thursday confirmed the doubters' suspicions. Basically, for $10,000 less, the standard battery model will only reduce the range by 60 miles. That's a timeline that could just eke a number of cars through for delivery-especially perhaps in California and on the West Coast-in time for the full $7,500 tax credit.

To get the Mid Range into production quicker than previously anticipated, Tesla uses the same battery as the Long Range but packs it with fewer cells.

Related Articles