Tesla doesn't directly offer any cash on the hood, but you can certainly work to put some cash in the frunk.
Ryan Shaw has owned his Tesla Model Y for about three months or so. His crossover is the least expensive Model Y currently available – the $52,990 Long Range. Still, that's a whole lot of money for a new car. Thankfully, Tesla will bring a cheaper Standard Range version to market at a later date.
As soon as we tell you that Shaw's Model Y really did pay for itself, you're probably skeptical. There's no longer a $7,500 federal EV tax credit for Tesla vehicles, and he hasn't had the car long enough to rent it out enough times to add up. However, Shaw can still stand behind the claim that the electric crossover is paying for itself.
Shaw explains five ways his Model Y has paid for itself. First of all, he took advantage of cash incentives. Shaw lives in California, so he got $2,000. In addition, he got $1,000 from his power company, Southern California Edison.
Since Shaw isn't using the car every day at this point, he decided to rent it out on Turo. So far, he's made almost $1,000 via Turo in about a month.
The third, and likely most profitable situation for Shaw related to his Model Y, is his YouTube channel. He has benefited financially from making videos about the car. Sure, it's one of his jobs, and it's not something everyone is able to do successfully. But still, without the Model Y, Shaw wouldn't have that income. So, it's fair to say the Y is paying for itself here, though it requires some hard work. Shaw actually made videos prior to the Y and saved money for the car's down payment too.
Also related to his YouTube channel, Shaw has used affiliate links to generate additional income. Again, if he's promoting products for the Model Y, and he makes money doing so, the car is paying for itself. Shaw explains:
"If you check out the description in my videos, I list off all the equipment I use to make my videos ...
This is one of those things where you might say 'how is this the Model Y paying for itself? It’s a camera lens on amazon,' but the only reason that link was clicked, is because I made a video about the Model Y, which is a popular subject."
Finally, the Tesla Referral Program has helped make the Model Y pay for itself. He has enough referrals to pay for his Supercharging for a long time. Moreover, he could end up with more incentives from the program.
Have you used any of the above methods to help pay for your car? If so, share them with us in the comments below.