How Much Will a Tesla Model 3 Really Cost – $35k, $45k or $60k?

Tesla Model 3 (TSLA)

Tesla Motors Inc is starting its mass-market Model 3 at $35,000 but the car could easily cost $45,000, $50,000, or even more than $60,000 based on the options you choose. Paul Carter of Model3Tracker.info collates crowdsourced data of Model 3 reservations to show stats on the options that Model 3 reservation holders are buying. Carter has released new stats based on insights drawn from the options that some 4,321 Model 3 buyers chose for their cars.

Of course, buyers are not under obligations to buy any options or upgrades. In fact, CEO Elon Musk during the launch of the Model 3 revealed that the Model 3 would be an awesome car even without any options. In Musk’s words, “You will not be able to buy a better car for $35,000 — or even close — even if you get no options.” This piece explores insights on the most popular options that Model 3 buyers are ticking when they reserve their cars.

Tesla Model 3

Here are the most popular Tesla Model 3 options

Tesla Motors has confirmed that the Model 3 will be able to go at least 215 miles on a single charge but the 215-mile range doesn’t seem enough for most buyers. Data on Model 3 options reveals that about 43% of Model 3 owners are choosing the option for a bigger battery in order to get a longer range from their Model 3.

Tesla has also revealed that the Model 3 won’t be bundled with access to its network of Superchargers. However, 36.1% of Model 3 buyers are choosing the optional upgrade that would give them access to the Supercharger network.

Autopilot seems to be getting in the news for all the bad reasons after attracting increased scrutiny from regulators. German KBA has asked Tesla to stop marketing its driver-assist tech as Autopilot and California is working out a regulatory framework for the tech. However, about 35.9% of Model 3 buyers are choosing the Autopilot option for the cars. More so, you can expect an increase in Autopilot options if Elon Musk makes good its promise to debut the Model 3 with full self-driving abilities.

More interesting is the fact that only about 5% of Model 3 buyers are buying the base bare bones version of the car. In fact, Carter’s research results suggest that about 7% of Model 3 buyers will tick all the boxes for an options upgrade in the car.

Why are Model 3 buyers buying full options?

Tesla Motors has touted the Model 3 has its plan to get EVs into many hands as quick as possible; hence, the $35,000 price tag. However, many Model 3 buyers are not buying the $35,000 base version and one begins to wonder if Tesla’s dream of making a mass-market EV has not been shattered. Nonetheless, it is quite easy to understand why many Model 3 buyers are choosing to have options in their cars.

Firstly, Elon Musk has hinted that he would probably build the full options cars first because they’ll provide him with the biggest margin. Hence, someone that ordered a full options Model 3 some four months after its unveil might get his car earlier than someone that ordered the bare bones version on the night of the unveiling. Thus, it seems that many of the people buying options are making the upgrades in order to speed up the delivery process of their cars.

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.


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