Just a few short days ago, Tesla announced a new lower-priced Model 3, the "Mid Range Battery," a rear-drive model with 260 miles of range and a base price of $45,000 before tax credits. Now, just five days later, Tesla has suddenly added another $1000 to the price of the car, but knocked an equal amount off of the price of the more expensive Model 3 Long Range. And all of this takes place during a rather confusing time for Tesla pricing in general.
Meanwhile, the long-promised affordable Model 3, $35,000 before incentives, is nowhere to be seen.
Let's take a step back. When you visit , you're presented with three variants of the electric sedan: Mid Range, Long Range and Performance. The prices indicated are $34,200*, $41,200* and $52,200*, respectively.
But note the asterisks. These are the purchase prices for the various models "after incentives and gas savings"—assuming that your potential purchase will qualify for the full $7500 federal tax credit, and relying on some to come up with a gas savings number.
At the bottom of the page, you'll see the actual price for the car that you're interested in purchasing: $46,000 for the Mid Range, $53,000 for the Long Range, $64,000 for the Performance.
So if you order today, how much will you actually pay for your Model 3? That also depends. As we reported last week, Tesla has reached the end of the US federal tax credit program for electric vehicles. Teslas delivered by December 31st, 2018, will be eligible for the full $7500 credit. Deliveries starting January 1, 2019 will only receive $3750 in federal tax credits. If you order right now, you could get your car in time for the full credit—but inclement weather, supplier problems, or delays at Tesla's factory could change things for late-in-the-year Tesla buyers.
When asked about today's price shifts, a Tesla spokesperson said, "we made a slight adjustment to our pricing for Model 3 following the introduction of the Mid Range Battery last week. We will honor the lower pricing for all in-progress orders."