When I saw the new battery option, I knew I needed to update the total cost of ownership (TCO) model for the Model 3 and see how that affects the cost of ownership for potential customers.
The $4,000 drop in price has several effects, all of them good! It drops expected depreciation by $2,161 over the 5 year period. The taxes go down $293 and the financing costs go down $657. Even insurance goes down $145 and expected repairs go down $98. Total expected savings over 5 years are $3,354!
How does this change the competitive picture?
The new Mid Range Model 3 is still not competitive with base Toyota Camry costs. It is now a lot lower in cost than a loaded Camry (instead of a little less expensive). You could even add Autopilot (autosteer and traffic aware cruise control are included in the loaded Camry) and it would cost less!
But it is now about the same price as a loaded Prius (and a h*ll of a lot more fun). It will still cost you about $100 a month more than the Prius Prime, which is a well priced car at this time.
If you plan to get one before the end of the year to get the full $7,500 tax credit (which they no longer guarantee, but it is likely you can get if they meet their delivery estimates), I recommend you order soon! Two people who used my referral code on October 7 took delivery of their cars today. So, at least some people are getting cars very quickly.
A lot of people are waiting for the $35,000 car, but a $45,000 car with a $3,750 larger tax credit, 40 miles extra range, and $5,000 in premium features is a lot of value for only $6,250 more that you will pay (compared to the base $35,000 Model 3). And that is if you are able to get the $35,000 before the tax credit is cut in half again to $1,875 on July 1st, 2019.
If you’d like a referral code to get $100 in free supercharger credits, you can use mine — https://ts.la/paul92237 — and other owners are invited to share theirs in the comments. I know we have a lot of longtime readers with Teslas who you may now feel a friendship with.