Tesla has revealed that the Tesla Model S will start at $49,500 after subsidy, rising to $69,500 for the 300 mile battery model. Think similar numbers in GBP or Euros.
We’ve been less than charitable about Tesla’s stated aim to bring the Model S in as a sub $50k car. It seemed – with the premium specification envisaged and the battery packs – an impossible ambition. But they’ve done it. Sort of.
‘Sort of’ because it’s only the entry-level Tesla Model S that hits the target at $49,500, and then only courtesy of a $7,500 subsidy from the US taxpayer. Still, an impressive achievment.
It seems deliveries of the Model S are now going to start in mid-2012, and the first 1,000 cars will all be the top-end model with the big battery pack – said to give a theoretical 300 mile range – and will cost $69,500 (after the subsidy), which is around the price of a high-end diesel XJ.
The difference is that the Model S will cost very little to run, as its fuelling is all electricity. How long that will last is anyone’s guess, but as soon as electric cars are any number more than a blip, governments will change from subsidising electric cars to taxing them.
For now though, the joy is in the taxpayer chipping in part of the cost, the fuel being almost untaxed, the whole thing being exempt from any BIK and business owners being able to set the entire purchase price off against tax in one go.
It’s a guess, but it seems likely that by the time you bring the Model S in to the UK and Europe, pay the VAT and the duty, you’re likely to be looking at the dollar prices as much the same in GBP or Euro. Which means 49,500 for the 160 mile Battery, 59,500 for the 230 mile model and 69,500 for the 300 mile model.
And until the tax position changes – which it eventually will – I think anyone with a business would be barking mad not to run out and get one, as would any employee looking for a perk not to demand they get a tax-free Tesla Model S.
Make hay while the sun shines.