Despite much negativity toward Tesla for releasing an "expensive" Model 3 early on — even though this is a common practice among luxury vehicle manufacturers — the automaker's plan has proven to significantly accelerate EV adoption.
Even when the Model 3 was only available in its more pricey variants, sales were off the charts. Now that Tesla is finally offering cheaper configurations of the Model 3, the statistics are showing a huge uptake. However, it's not necessarily because people are choosing to buy the lower trims, but instead, because the Model 3 is just so incredibly popular.
At this point in time, it may cost you an average of some $56,000 to secure an EV in the United States. However, that number pales in comparison to last year's average of ~$64,000. Today, you can get an electric vehicle in the U.S. for 13 percent less than you could just a year ago, and that number will continue to decrease as adoption grows and battery cost drops.
The above statistics, as provided by Cox Automotive, are surely interesting. But, much more compelling is the fact that the Tesla Model 3 is the primary reason for the notable drop. This is not just due to its "cheap" variants. It really has to do with the car's incredible sales volume thus far.
You can supposedly get a Model 3 Standard Range (off the menu) for some $35,400. But, it doesn't seem like that's the car people are interested in buying. On the menu via Tesla's website, you'll see the Standard Range Plus starting at $38,990. Again, while we don't know for sure, it appears many people aren't racing to buy that car either.
The range-topping Model 3 Performance tops out at just $64,990 with all the boxes checked. Yep, you get Autopilot as standard, any paint color you choose, the fancy white Vegan leather interior, access to the upcoming Full Self-Driving capability, etc.
Regardless of model choice or price, Cox Automotive's research confirms that 80 percent of EV sales in the U.S. are comprised of Tesla vehicles as a whole, with much of that number made up of Model 3 sales.
It's important to note that "worthy" rivals like the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace start at $74,800 and $69,500, respectively. If we're looking at "affordable" EVs, we can note that the Hyundai Kona Electric starts at $36,950, but you can't get it in many areas, and while it's a solid offering, it's far behind the Model 3 in many ways.
There are several other affordable electric cars in the U.S., but again, it comes down to availability and technology. None of them are selling very well since they don't offer an overall situation or experience that even begins to contend with Tesla's vehicles.
What EV did you buy? Why did you choose it? We'd love to hear from you in our comment section below.