October 31, 2014

Tesla Model S goes up in price

The electric Tesla Model S – which won’t arrive in the UK until at least late in 2013 – is going up in price in the US and gets a spec change.

Photo of Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is perhaps, just perhaps, the only really credible electric car so far; a luxury ‘Sports’ saloon car that offers range almost comparable to an ICE car and, it seems, prices that aren’t an awful lot different. That makes it a far more appealing prospect as a replacement for an ICE car than anything we’ve previously seen.

It’s not cheap, mind you, but it’s not overly expensive either, even with the $2500 price increase from 1st January Tesla are imposing across the Model S range. Even then, and ignoring any daft ‘incentives’ (bribes, in other words) from misguided governments dishing out taxpayers’ money, the Model S price isn’t a million miles out from comparable cars like the Jaguar XF, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E Class.

So far, Tesla hasn’t revealed any news of prices for the Model S in the UK, but they have said previously that they aim to keep prices consistent throughout the world.

If they manage that then the entry-level Model S with a 4okWh battery pack that now costs $60,000 will end up costing around £50,000 (by the time you throw in import duty and VAT), the 60kWh will cost £57,500, the 85kWh £66,000 and the 85kWh Performance model £78,000.

Throw in a four year warranty as standard and additional 4 year warranty for an extra $2,500, fixed servicing costs of between $1,900 and $2500 for the first and second four year period, fixed battery replacement costs starting from $8,000 and rising to $12,000 and the fixed costs of ownership – with the decent range the Model S offers – start to make sense.

But, certainly for now, the tax breaks for buying and running a Model S by a business potentially make the Tesla Model S a financial no-brainer. Without those tax breaks, the Model S isn’t quite as appealing (especially with a theoretical 160 mile range and 6.5 seconds 0-60mph on the 40kWh version), but the performance model with its theoretical 300 mile range and 0-60mph of 4.4 seconds isn’t a million miles off an XFR or M5.

Just like hybrids, the extra cost burden of the non-ICE drivetrain becomes less of a barrier at the upper ends of the price spectrum. Which could be the making of the Tesla Model S.

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