The Tesla Model 3.

blog logoOne of the great myths about electric cars is that “they” are too expensive — and usually when someone uses “they” in this case to refer to electric cars they mean ALL electric cars are allegedly “too expensive”.

In fact, as I have noted here before on SolarChargedDriving.Com, it is NOT true that ALL electric cars are “too expensive”.

I paid $270 per month to lease my 2014 all-electric Nissan LEAF (which had about 80-100 miles of range) for three and a half years.

I am paying an affordable $338 per month to lease a 2017 Chevy Bolt with a hefty 238 miles of range, enough range, in fact, to drive my two teenage daughters and myself from Denver to Santa Barbara and back (2,200 total miles!) this past summer.

It used to be true that Teslas were “too expensive”, even for me. Yes, even the Model 3 WAS too expensive for me, at $50,000+ or so — prior to tax incentives and rebates — for the vast majority of Model 3s on the road in the United States today.

That’s NOT true anymore.

Tesla is now taking orders for a “low end” Model 3 with a 50 kWh battery pack that has a reported range of about 220 miles and an entry level price of $35,000.

Buyers can still receive up to a $3,750 Federal Tax Credit through June 2019 on the Model 3. And here in Colorado — where I live, you can add a $5,000 state EV tax REBATE (rebate = real CASH back from Colorado regardless of what your state tax liability is).

So, doing the math, that means that consumers in the State of Colorado can get a Tesla Model 3 for as little as $26,250. That is NOT “expensive”, at least not for a new car. In fact, this price is right around the level of many standard gasoline mid-priced cars such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion.

And, you can see fuel cost savings of up to 75 percent in a Model 3 over gasoline cars such as an Accord, Camry or Fusion.

So, if you are going to make an excuse not to look at potentially buying, or leasing, an electric car — at this point it really is ALL excuse, and, sadly, also individual consumer conservatism/ignorance/unwillingness to try anything new — you no longer can say an electric car is “too expensive”, at least not if you live in a state like Colorado, California, etc. which offer significant state tax rebates on electric vehicles.

Indeed, if you’re going to make an excuse about not at least looking at an electric car as your next car — especially if you live in a two-car+ household, I am going to call you on it, and I will call it out for what it is: Ignorance, fear, personal conservatism, stubborn-ness on trying something new, etc.

In fact, if you’re going to refuse to at least look at an electric car when it’s time for you to buy/lease another vehicle, this will now be thoroughly, and completely ALL ON YOU (I am continually disappointed at the ignorance/resistance of my “progressive” friends and coworkers and neighbors on electric cars).  It will have NOTHING whatsoever to do with all of the inaccurate stereotypes about electric cars, especially not the lame — and incorrect — claim that electric cars are “too expensive”.

Nope! Wrong! And simply not true!


4 Responses

  1. John E Goreham

    Good story. But it may never be true. Your price does not include Tesla’s $1,200 delivery fee, right? So add that.
    Then add the cost for any color but black (your M3 image is blue). And since Tesla isn’t planning to ship any till June (their words, not mine) the incentive you list is wrong by about $1,875. Including incentives, Volts, Prius Primes and Leafs have been under $20K here in Mass & RI now for years. And they are in stock, ready for you to drive home today. Don’t take my word for it. See the Mass/RI DriveGreen website. That’s the real affordable EV story.

    • Christof Demont-Heinrich

      Good points. It is also true that people here in Colorado could get a 2018 LEAF for $15,000 after Federal, State and utility rebates, and that still wasn’t enough to get people in to look at, and a buy/lease a LEAF!!!! Of course, the 2018 LEAF had 150 miles of range, the Model 3 has 220 miles.

      My overall motivation to write the piece was to, I admit, lay into people who won’t even consider looking at an electric car if they’re in the market for a new, or even used, car. I have lost patience for these people — especially the self-proclaimed greenies in that group who say they’re environmentally progressive, but then won’t even look at possibly buying/leasing an electric car, which is the only kind of car that can be powered by 100% renewable energy.

  2. Tabot (@AzZenCyclist)

    Don’t forget the supercharger network. It really gives us peace of mind when traveling. We have traveled from Tucson to Boise and then Tucson to San Diego to Denver with no problems.It really is a wonderful way to travel. We are a 1 car family and the Model 3 has been a perfect car for us although we will probably get a Model Y when it comes out.

    • Christof Demont-Heinrich

      Excellent points! I did do a Denver to Santa Barbara and back trip with my teen daughters in my Chevy Bolt this past summer, but it would have been a lot less ‘adventurous’ if I had had a Supercharger network along the way.


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