$64,500 Gets You A Model S In Canada, As NAFTA Bumps Price


2013 Model S Pricing In Canada

Good news and bad news for would be Canadian Tesla Model S buyers.  On Wednesday, Tesla announced pricing for the Model S in that Canada, with the base level starting $8,000 higher than in the US at $64,500 (about $65,400 USD).

Pricing levels for all models in Canada:

  • Model S (40kWh – 257 km) – $64,400
  • Model S (60kWh – 370 km) – $75,200
  • Model S (85 kWh – 480km) – $85,900
  • Model S Performance (85 kWh – 0-60 4.4 sec) – $100,400
  • Model S Signature – $103,600
  • Model S Signature Performance – $114,300

Model S Now Available In Canada

Paying a premium for cars sold in Canada in the past is nothing especially new, however, given the Canadian dollar’s massive gains against the US dollar over the last decade, almost all those currency exchange issues have gone away.

In 2002 a US dollar netted you about $1.60 in Canada, today it gets you a little over 98 cents.  So why the 14 percent premium here, Tesla has an answer for you, sort of:

“Pricing in foreign markets can be very complex, so we have taken a very straightforward, transparent approach to pricing Model S,” said George Blankenship, vice president worldwide sales and ownership experience. “Canadian base prices start with U.S. pricing, plus 6.1 percent for import duties and an additional 1.5 to 2 percent, depending upon the model, for incremental transportation costs and country specific business expenses. The total is then adjusted using the current mid-term currency exchange rate.”]

The US Dollar Has Lost A Lot Of Ground Against the Cdn Dollar Over The Past Decade (Yahoo Finance)

This 6.1% ‘import duties’ is a relative obscurity these days as most every car that coming from the US to Canada is NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement )friendly, but apparently the Model S’ huge kWh battery packs from Japan are tipping its US made content so that it does not qualify.

As for the other few percent?  Well, Tesla knows they are playing a little fast and loose, but they probably also want to keep a little buffer on the MSRP, if currency if it happens to trade the wrong way.  Thankfully Tesla is giving Canadian customers a little something extra on their base Model S to ease their pain:

Option pricing has also been kept very straightforward. In Canada, all models will include heated seats and choice of décor as standard equipment.”

Deliveries for Canada on the Model S run concurrent to estimates for the US, meaning the Signature additions are being produced now and will ship shortly to any Canadian buyers, with the 60 kWh version scheduled for deliveries in the fall, and base 40 kWh getting out early in 2013.

In some provinces, government rebates of up to $8,500 (Ontario) can be used against the purchase of this vehicle.  (Quebec – $8,000, British Columbia – $5,000)

Canadian Options, Pricing and Spec Sheet can be found here.
Tesla Press Release on Canadian Pricing can be found here.

Category: Tesla


8 responses to "$64,500 Gets You A Model S In Canada, As NAFTA Bumps Price"
  1. Ray in PA says:

    Makes sense about NAFTA, the Performance Signature says content is 55%, would be more on the 40 kw version maybe 70%, but it goes by the cost of parts to Tesla, and those batteries would bring those percentages down way low.

    1. PhxGuy says:

      NAFTA minimum is 62.5% on autos as I recall.

  2. Jay Cole says:

    Thrilled to finally be getting an actually price for the Model S. Not as thrilled with the price itself, although it is not that bad.

    Personal pet peeve has always been the exchange pricing/fluctuation excuse. I fully understand the 6.1% and maybe the “1.5% to 2%’ additional cost, and it is great they are being so forthcoming about these costs.

    However…many Canadians have both USD and CDN dollar accounts,. Most who invest, do so in US based equities (especially outside of government plans like RRSPs). Heck, short of that, we all know how to go to a bank and ask for USDs…they aren’t the giant coins of the Yap islanders. So, how about an option to just pay for the car in US dollars?

    I realize that doesn’t work/translate for big auto makers with complicated manufacturing facilities and regional HQs located all over the world, to say nothing of the ‘common’ customer confusion that a USD price would cause…it just wouldn’t fly. But Tesla is a centralized facility in California, delivering a high premium/low volume specialized product, to boutiques in the rest of the world.

    Right now the difference is $8,000 over the US $57,400, but the variance in the dollar could easily shift that further to either Tesla or the consumer’s favour by another $5,000-$6,000 over the course of a year…and likely to Tesla’s favor given the trend. (That bump in the curve of the dolar is the fear of depression that strengthened the US dollar, without depression the curve continues)

    US pricing will never happen of course, but that’s the dream. Until then, we have to stick with the ‘pay a guy to drive it across the border and pay any duties ourself’ strategy if it gets too unbalanced.

    /rant off

    1. Josh says:


      So where does this price put you on getting the S? Would love to get your long term review .

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Its not the price, but that I only have one more spot to charge the cars in the garage, lol.

        I think I probably have mentioned this before, but the wife wants one of those little SMART 2 seat electric convertibles (that aren’t yet available in the US). I sense my long term review of that would not be quite as exciting (although a lot less common).

        Now that the Model S is priced, we are going to have to draw straws or something. I’ll let you know who wins, (=

  3. Lindsay says:

    When they start making the Leaf, including the battery, in Tennessee, will it be duty free crossing from the US to Canada?

    Are there any differences between the US and Canadian models that would require changes to a US Leaf before it could be registered in Canada?

    Is there anything in the US federal incentive program that disallows an American from buying an EV, collecting the tax break and then selling the EV to a Canadian? Or for that matter an American that doesn’t have a sufficient tax liability?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Lindsay, I know I little bit about this one. There is essentially no cost difference at the moment to bring in a LEAF from Oppama Japan to either Canada or US.

      Before the LEAF was available in Canda, I have brought one across myself, and there is, even now, no duty. And no modifications are needed, all current MY Nissans are approved for cross border transactions.

      In Canada, most provinces with rebates ie) Ontario 8,500 and Quebec 8,000 require the person receiving the rebate to own the car for 12 months, or it can be clawed back.

      In the US, there is no such limitiation, only that you have enough tax liability to get the $7,500. However, that being said, there is a rider in the credit that says “federal tax credit isn’t applicable to a vehicle being purchased for the purpose of reselling it”-this of course is impossible to prove…and no one is looking for you. There is also another rider that says the vehicle must primarily be used in the US, so thats a prob if your bringing straight into Canada with the plastic sheets still on the seats (some state programs also required term ownership of 12 to 36 months)

      You would be in violation of the ‘fine print’ if you were flipping, and bringing it across the border and trying to register it to a Canadian on a quick sale would probably highlight your actions.

      However, here is the ‘fun’ part…the $7,500 ($7,300Cdn) sucks. You have to qualify, and it is slow.

      The Canadian/Ontario rebate can be acquired if you buy a LEAF (or other qualifying EV) in the US, but don’t register it there. If you then register it in Ontario, you then GET THE $8,500 (which is about $8600 USD)…and you don’t have to be Canadian to qualify. Only mental patients and Texans would be crazy enough to attempt the $7,500 USD credit over the $8,500 Ontario rebate

      So I (or you) can buy a SL LEAF at $33K down there (and get $500 back on the exchange) rather than 40K up here (no deals-no cars), then I can get the $8,500 rebate (in the form of an instant rebate). Pay for the DOT in a seperate transaction, and save another near thousand. Effective savings is $8,500.

      I know what your trying to do with your question, so I am not going to suggest how one might make that scenario work out, (=

  4. Lindsay says:

    Oops, hit the Submit a little early there.

    One more question: If it is true that Mitt Romney intends to abolish the federal incentive, do you think that there are a sufficient number of people willing to pay the full cost to not spell the end of the current EV offerings?

    Thanks for any thoughts or answers to any of my questions!