When Tesla first announced the Model 3, the automaker made a bold promise: "Model 3 achieves up to 310 miles of range while starting at only $35,000 before incentives," the Tesla website initially read. (The website was updated in July 2018 to remove that language, , though a spokesperson said at the time that the automaker's plans had not changed.)
That fabled $35,000 base-price Model 3 isn't here yet, but we're getting closer: Tesla has just announced the Model 3 "Mid Range Battery," with 260 miles of driving range, 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, and a $45,000 price tag before tax incentives.
Update: Due to a misreading of Tesla's car-ordering page, we initially reported the base price of the Model 3 Mid Range Battery as $47,500. This was due to having inadvertently clicked a $2500 option while checking the price on Tesla's website. All base prices before tax incentives quoted in this article have been checked and updated. We regret the error.
The Mid Range model is now the lowest-priced Model 3 currently available, notching in below the Long Range Dual Motor AWD model (310 miles, 0-60 in 4.5, $54,000 before incentives) and the Model 3 Performance with AWD (310 miles, 0-60 in 3.3, $64,000 before incentives).
About those incentives: As we wrote recently, Tesla has exceeded the 200,000-vehicle cap on the federal government's $7500 EV tax credit. The automaker says that any vehicles delivered before by December 31, 2018 will get the full $7500 credit; those delivered between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019 will receive a $3750 tax credit; and those delivered between July 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 will get $1875.
So Tesla says that "after incentives and gas savings," the newly-announced Model 3 Mid Range will cost $33,200—assuming the full $7500 tax credit and a $4300 gas savings over six years of ownership. Fuel savings is hard to calculate, of course—especially now that Tesla no longer offers free Supercharger use to new buyers. And if you want the full $7500, you better order ASAP: Tesla estimates that, after your order is placed, delivery will take four weeks for the west coast, six weeks for the central US, and eight weeks for the east coast.