Tesla Inc. began selling a cheaper version of its Model 3 sedan on Thursday, but the price is still higher than originally promised, and federal tax incentives that could lower its price are running out.
The new version offers a new mid-range battery and a starting price of $ 45,000, the electric car maker said late Thursday – $ 4,000 less than the previous starting price of $ 49,000. For more than a year, Tesla
has announced a Model S with a base price of $ 35,000 that will be affordable enough to appeal to the masses, but it's still unavailable.
In August, analysts at UBS said Tesla would lose money on a Model 3 with a strike price of $ 35,000. Tesla's website says that the standard version, which is expected to have this base price, will be sold in four to six months.
In a Tweet Thursday Tesla boss Elon Musk claimed the new model "Costs $ 35k to federal and state tax rebates in California, but the actual operating costs are after gas savings at $ 31,000."
The tax breaks that for all in the US, but expire – since Tesla a key threshold for deliveries will expire the tax credit over 7,500 euros from 2019. For buyers who accept delivery from January 1 through June 30, 2019, the balance will be halved to $ 3,750 and halved for the period from July to December 31, 2019, then full in 2020 eliminated.
Tesla expects to deliver the Model 3 with the new mid-range batteries in six to 10 weeks, the company said.
"As Model 3 production and sales continue to grow rapidly, we have achieved a stable volume in production capacity that enables us to diversify our product offering to more customers," said a Tesla spokesperson in a statement. "Our new mid-range battery will be launched this week in the US and Canada to meet the varying range requirements of many customers who want to purchase the Model 3."
The new version has a range of 260 miles, Tesla said on its website, compared to the previously available 310-mile long-range battery pack. Musk added on Twitter that long-range batteries, rear-wheel drive and "full-self-driving" features will only be available for the next week and will be off-menu options.
Tesla's stock has so far dropped 15.2% this year, like the S & P 500 index