Teslanomics Predicts Average Tesla Model 3 Purchase Price of $50,000

Tesla Model 3


Yet another prediction of the average selling price of the upcoming Tesla Model 3, but perhaps this one will be spot on.

Who better than Teslanomics’ Mr. Sullins to dive into the data related to Tesla vehicles and options, along with consumer preferences, and try to make a research-based guess as to the average selling price of the upcoming Tesla Model 3? Ben put a lot of solid data into this one, and it seems pretty fair.

Tesla Model 3

Model 3

Sullins went to Model3Tracker.info once again, since it’s the most followed site of its kind out there.

Since Sullins has started pushing this information out, and touting the Model 3 Tracker website, more people have joined in and provided information. Ben continues to assert that the more people that get involved, the better the estimates will be, and people are listening.

Ben didn’t stop there, however. He teamed with Trevor Page, founder of the Model 3 Owners Club, to pore over the data.

The latest information shows that most Model 3 buyers want Autopilot, the largest battery option, and a glass roof. It also shows that many people still want to stick with the base Model 3. This data was derived from the now 10,000 Tesla Model 3 reservation holders chiming in on Model 3 Tracker.

Sullins put the team’s findings into a handy interactive chart, so we can visualize their theory. The final calculation shows that the upcoming Tesla Model 3 will have an average selling price around $50,000.

Update (June 6th):  We did learn from Tesla’s shareholder meeting on Tuesday night, that the launch the Tesla Model 3 will have very (very) limited options available out of the gate, with Elon Musk stating he was keeping “initial configurations for Model 3 very simple”, specifically “it’s kinda going to be like what color do you want and what size of wheels do you want. That’s basically going to be the configurator.”

Obviously, the fact that many of these early adopters/reservists surveyed on the Model 3 Tracker website are more than eager to own a Model 3, they may forego their “want list” to be on Tesla’s pre-configured “first delivery list”, and therefore skew the average selling price…at least out of the gate.  For example, the dual motor/AWD option will not arrive until late 2017/early 2018.

So, at least for 2017, it appears that Tesla will set its own “average selling price” for the Model 3, will consumer demand dictating the number thereafter.

Video Description via Teslanomics by Ben Sullins on YouTube:

The Tesla Model 3, their most anticipated car yet is scheduled to begin production in July 2017. We still don’t know what all the configuration options will be, however, that hasn’t stopped nearly 10,000 reservation holders from submitting their choices on Model3Tracker.info

On the site, you can submit your preferences and receive an estimated cost using a pricing model based on what we know of the Model S pricing. These are estimates and bound to be different from the actual price that Tesla will charge.

However, these prices were vetted by many in the Tesla community and even if close, tell an interesting story about how the launch of the Model 3 will go, financially, for Tesla.

Source: Teslanomics via Teslarati

Categories: Tesla, Videos

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59 Comments on "Teslanomics Predicts Average Tesla Model 3 Purchase Price of $50,000"

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Here’s my hunch:

Model 3 50: $36,200 after destination
Model 3 70: $43,200 after destination

Mandatory fake-options at launch:
$3,500 Autopilot
$1,000 moonroof
$1,000 premium trim (synthetic leather, wood trim)

Actual options at launch:
$750-$1,000 metallic/premium paint
$1,000 upgraded 19″ wheels

Only Model 3 70 will be delivered this year. After mandatory options, starting price will be $48,700. A pearl white or metallic red Model 3 70 with the 19″ wheels will be $50,700.

Tesla will start discounting Model 3 by making less-equipped models available once demand for the $50K models diminish.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Model 3 50 has a software-enabled Convenience Package for $750 or so ($1,000 OTA upgrade after delivery), consisting of heated seats, memory seat, adjustable lumbar support, ambient lighting, Homelink, and XM radio.

I assume by “moonroof” you meant “glass roof”. Different things as moonroof is often used to describe a sunroof, not a roof made completely of glass.

They probably will not have an actual opening moonroof/sunroof until later on. Out of the gate it will glass roof only.

If you are right about the convenience package, that might be a hard pill for some would be buyers to swallow. It will be interesting to see how that “deal” plays out with some of the preorder crowd.

“Tesla will start discounting Model 3 by making less-equipped models available once demand for the $50K models diminish.”

Likely the reverse. Tesla will sell the $50K “popular options” model first and as soon as the AWD is available in early 2018 after the 2017 employee test cars are shipped. That will be optional $10-13K option but close to 70% of S’s are AWD so that will take order precedence bumping the average to $60K.

Ordering a $36,200 Model 3 will not be available to those on the current reservation list who will get the “popular options” “simplified” model and will be at the end of the line for those making new orders.

That would be smart Teslanomics. Demand will allow them to sell loaded Model 3’s.

Add in the $7,000 warranty extension and service agreement and Model 3 will be pushing $70K and with very high profit options will give Tesla high volume and high gross profit margin.

I was going to say $50K. Before rebate, after destination.

It kind of depends on whether the small pack is available at launch. I don’t think it will be. In fact I’d nearly guarantee it won’t be.

to take up leasehackr’s challenge, I’d say fake (mandated) options are:

$4000 for the autopilot with more cameras which Tesla pretends will hit L5 autonomy some day.
$1200 for glass roof (not openable, just glass)

I’d kind of expect a required premium interior but I can’t decide what it would be so I’ll leave it off.

$500 for normal upgrade (anything but black, silver white)
$1500 for the fancier shimmery colors.
$1500 for 19″ wheels (wider too).

I suspect Tesla will leave off Homelink as Chevy has.

And I’ll say that the packs will be 55kWh and 70kWh (as I’ve said before). 205 miles range and 255 miles range.

It won’t be 205mi of Elon already said at least 215mi. Maybe you missed typed that.

I didn’t mistype that. I think you’re right though, I think he did say at least 215 miles already.

I haven’t seen anything in Tesla’s past to indicate they couldn’t redefine what he meant. The Model X was a 7 seater when shown and then we found out that was optional and the base model was only 5 seats. This kind of thing could happen again with this car. This does ally with my skepticism about their ability to exceed the range of the Bolt (which Musk has already hinted at) without putting in a significantly larger battery than a Bolt. And I don’t see the base pack being 70kWh (or whatever it takes) for the base model.

55 kWh at 4 miles per kWh will be 220 mile range and 70 kWh will be 280 mile range. The 3 is 20% lighter than the S so range will be correspondingly greater. AWD will make it 230 and 290 respectively.

That’s conservative. A straight weight boost would put the Model 3 at 235/290 for RWD and 245/300 for AWD.

Tesla hasn’t hit anything like 4mi/kWh yet and with their claims about performance, etc. and their AC induction motors I don’t see them hitting 4mi/kWh on this car either.

It’s easy to hit 4mi/kWh if you compromise on performance. But with the tires and drivetrain changes you need to be a higher performance car it becomes difficult. And this car is larger than a Bolt and thus surely heavier too.

I think the Model 3 will exceed the Bolt efficiency on the highway but fall behind it in the city and in the combined figure.

…And the Bolt didn’t make it to 4mi/kWh combined either… (almost)

“Tesla hasn’t hit anything like 4mi/kWh yet and with their claims about performance”

The S is 3.5 miles per kWh. The 3 being 20% lighter should hit 4.2 miles per kWh just on the weight reduction alone. Any other electronics efficiencies would push it even higher. But be conservative, call it 4.0 kWh and we get the 220/55kWh and 280 70kWh out of the box. AWD typically gives an 8% boost so 238 and 302 respectively.

There was a posting on Insideeev a while ago about Tesla concentrating production on the 70 kWh batteries.

So it is very likely that Tesla will initially only build the 70kWh ($10k) with Autopilot/Autonomous ($8k) activated for a “well equipped” $55,000. Buying such a high cost, high tech, high repair cost car without the extended warranty and service seem imprudent to me so $62,000 “well equipped” and fully warranted. AWD shows up it’s a $67,000 “base” car. A car that Tesla can sell all day long with a nice gross profit margin.

I agree that it will be around $50k, mainly because cheaper models won’t be available. There is no way they can sell these at anything close to $35k.

Full autopilot is about an $8k upgrade on the S/X. Elon stated the 3 will have the same functionality and I could totally see this as a requirement for early 3 deliveries. It’s pure profit vs just leaving the hardware in the car and not charging for it.

That part about the fake options went over my head. Isn’t the model 3 supposed to be eventually available for a real $35,000?

With the discounts currently going on with the BOLT ev, you can purchase one for a real $35,000 before all incentives, seeing as there are many dealers NOW offering around $2500 off the MSRP, and plenty of the BOlt ev’s on the car lots in my area have exactly zero options.

Chevy doesnt have to make money on Bolt sales. They can sell them at a loss and use ZEV credits to offset their trucks and SUVs. Tesla has to make money because they have no other profitable product. Besides, Bolt is inherently much cheaper design than Model 3. Bolt is a B class vehicle with many shared parts with Sonic, Trax and Buick Encore, and many parts made in lower cost factories. Tesla 3 is a compact sedan (C?D class) with bespoke everything and mainly built/assembled in Fremont.

Hmmm … so how will Tesla make money on 35K Model 3? Do we include portion of battery pack R&D into it or not? What about Gigafactory costs? My point is, how comparable is really Bolt’s profitability vs Model 3 profitability? By the same standards, or we take the company’s words for it?

I think there won’t be a $35k Model 3 for sale in a very long long long … long time.

What does “lower cost factory” mean do you? Doesn’t every factory try to be low cost? You seem to be using this as a negative but I can’t see how it is. GM takes steps to be cost-effective. You can be absolutely certain Tesla does also.

I’m not sure what the class matters. Given a Model S barely has less passenger space than a Bolt it’s unlikely the Model 3 is going to be a lot bigger inside than a Bolt. Tesla makes cars which are large outside but not so much inside.

It means Tesla factory is located in Fremont, where average house price is 1 million dollars and rent on a one bedroom apartment is $2500. Tesla has to pay more for their workforce. Bolt is built in Korea and Michigan.

Car class has impact on manufacturing cost. It is not dramatic but a B class car can be easily 15% cheaper. Case in point a Honda Fit starts at $16k, a Honda Civic at $18.7k. A Chevy Sonic at $15.1k, a Chevy Cruze at $17k.

Emissions credits are worth the same amount to Tesla and GM. It’s a market system, Tesla sells their credits. GM self-consumes.

Tesla cannot sell even their current credits, so they have no use for additional credits from Model 3.

What are you basing that claim on? Do you have a citation?

I recall Elon complaining that Tesla was only getting 50¢ on the dollar for selling ZEV credits to other auto makers, but so far as I know, there is no set price for ZEV credits; it’s whatever the market will bear. In other words, I think Elon is just complaining that Tesla isn’t making as much money selling ZEV credits as he wishes they did.

Having to sell something at a lower price isn’t at all the same as not being able to sell it at all.

Tesla sells their credits. They don’t get as much as they would like for them though.

If credits were so devalued that Tesla couldn’t even sell them, then they would be near valueless for GM too because GM would just buy them for a song.

It’s a market system. The credits are equally valuable to Tesla and GM, this is the case even if they are worthless to both.

Your link just shows how Musk would like to get more for their credits. Well of course he would, sellers of things are always in favor of them being worth more.

That is not entirely true. If GM didn’t have enough ZEV credits, they had to buy them from Tesla. Then they had to pay much higher price for them, let’s say 1$. Now that they have Bolt, they don’t need to buy them. So they save $1.0 per credit. Tesla can sell them at a discount now, so they get 50c per credit. So the same credit saves GM $1 and makes Tesla 50c. That is what Musk said in the conference call. Still it doesn’t change the fact that GM can sell Bolt at a loss and Tesla cannot.

If they are sitting on the lot with zero options, then they don’t have the DC Fast Charging Capability which is a $750 option.

I still don’t get that being an option. Weird.

It’s insane. When GM first announced the car DCFC was included on the Premier packages. It should have been this way, GM just went for the an extra $750 dip because the market would bear it.

My question is what will happen to the sales of “mass market” EVs when the federal tax credit (and state rebates) expire or are cancelled. This starts first for Tesla (in 2018) then GM based on the current rules. My guess is this will dramatically effect the sales of these vehicles as the credit and any state rebates amount to as much as 33% of the purchase price. (A 30k (or less?)) leaf et al in CA where you get 10k of tax credit and rebate. This is 25% on a 40k model 3. On a slightly different note and depending where you live (especially CA where I live) and how you source your electricity it can easily cost the same or more to “fuel” your EV as it does to fuel a similar size hybrid or diesel. (I live in the S.F. bay area and drive a plug in hybrid.) If you are on the standard residential service (E-1) you pay $.27/kwh (tier 2 price) or $.40/kwh (tier 3 price) at the margin if you use a lot. Most households w/out a solar system will use up their tier 1 ($.20/kwh) before car charging is included. This is 8… Read more »

I am sticking to my prediction that Your Model 3, will cost you $60,000.

This article predicts an “Average” price of $50,000. Looks like simple math, although I still can’t imagine anyone getting this car for $35,000. The high end would be $65,000, and we get a $50,000 average. Add tax and license and the car is now out of reach for many “hopeful” buyers. Then there is the prediction that latter Model 3s, will be more loaded with the options you want $$$$.

Wishing will not trump the math/real cost.
Nor will screaming that I must be a hater, which I am not !

Your “prediction” is so over-priced that it appears to be Tesla bashing, whether that’s actually your intention or not.

If you are expressing your honest opinion and find a hostile reception, then please understand that there are a number of trolls posting regularly here, all of whom claim to have nothing but the purest of intentions in “warning” us about how Tesla is just a sham company that’s bilking Wall Street of money; a company which they claim will collapse any day now.

Of course, many of the serial Tesla bashers have been posting more or less the exact same Tesla-bashing FUD for years, both here and on other websites, so by now it seems rather unlikely that they honestly believe what they’re saying. Not even the ones who have yet to admit they’re short-selling Tesla stock.

He is posting facts about what us Bay Area folks have to pay. He isn’t wrong. When I got my first ev, it was a complete shock seeing my electric bill triple. F’ing PG&E and their absurd rates. I bought a solar system to take advantage. But now they are jacking up the off peak rates and decreasing the rank rates whic completely messed us my financial model that I based my solar size setup upon.

You messed up by not considering what the future would hold. Electric companies are forced to pay you more for your electricity than it is actually worth to them after they buy it. Of course they are going to modify the deal in the future to reduce this problem. You should have expected that. Think of Darth Vader and Lando Calrissian. “Pray I do not modify the deal further.” As to why your peak prices are moving to the evening, look at the net demand curve on this page: http://www.caiso.com/outlook/SystemStatus.html Supply is tightest at 8PM. So yes, the peak prices will be shifted back to 8PM to match this. Why should a utility be forced to buy electricity at peak rates at 1PM when that is the time when net demand is lowest? Peak rates are shifting so far into the evening due to a plethora of solar that soon having a home battery will be a much better financial model than net metering. And that’s a good thing. It’ll help us use this surplus of solar in the day to reduce demand at night. Sorry it’s going to hit you in the pocketbook, but we all have to give… Read more »

Mark H can hardly be blamed for not realizing the degree of MEANNESS a company like PG & E can display when their profit centers are threatened.

I was perhaps more jaded toward PG & E than Mark H is since I knew they set the ‘opt out’ price of Smart Meters, not to any actual costing, but to the amount that would discourage poor customers from putting in their own safe, reliable, mechanical Revenue Meters.

Or that problems with over charging customers with smart meters were ONLY rectified for certain ‘IMPORTANT’ customers, such as the head of California utilities commission.

Joe Sixpack was left to pound salt.

I’ll take my own shot at what they will do with the initial RWD configuration.

$4?,000 Tesla Model 3 75 Premium Trimline

There won’t be a list of individual options with individual prices you have to select. There won’t be a fixed price put on the larger battery that is broken out individually. It will be one price, with additional wheel and paint upgrades available for extra.

This will resemble buying different trim lines on a BMW or Audi, where they don’t actually break out the prices for each single option individually. It is all one package price without individual numbers being put on the engine or NAV or other options automatically included in the higher trim levels.

The “75” in the name won’t necessarily be an exact battery size, anymore than the “40” in BMW 340i is an exact engine size. It is a model name, and the actual battery size will be somewhere within rounding distance.

Base model should be $35k, plain white, smallest battery, no features but AP2 hardware is installed and can be activated at a later date. These cars will need to be available from day one or Tesla really do look a bit poor in the eyes of the consumer. They said they’d have a $35k car, if they don’t then it makes for bad press. Why build biggest battery car initially? The Giga factory is still being built, so to maximise the number of cars you can build, use the smallest battery pack, less cells per vehicle. If it goes further than 238mi EPA you still have credibility vs Bolt (hard to imagine it won’t go further than Bolt) Upsell to Model S because if you can afford that you should, Model 3 will feel a LOT less of a car. What car impressed you the most? One with virtually no instrument cluster or one with lots of buttons and gauges? Most people would see the buttons and gauges and think it is better, they are getting their money’s worth. They already stated initial cars will be simple ones, no AWD, nothing to syphon sales from Model S, those comments point… Read more »

I don’t think the $35k has to be available on Day 1…specially considering that the early deliveries will be to employees. Tesla can easily wait a couple of months before producing the delivering the smaller battery packs. That being said, even if a $35k is available on the configurator, I doubt that *any* of the first 5,000 reservationists will order a base model.

(Sure a few drama queens and some media outlets will act like chicken littles, but they’ll soon get distracted by the next great apocalyptic click bait)

Expectations have repeatedly been set that the stripped base model will not be one of the early configurations. Since only around 6% of reservation holders want a stripped base model (source provided previously), that is the right choice for Tesla.

Obviously there will be unhappy people no matter what options Tesla decides to put into their first fixed configuration cars.

How adult people are about it will obviously vary greatly. I’m sure we will hear tons of outrage, especially from people who hate Tesla and wouldn’t ever buy one in the first place…

Jason said:

“These cars will need to be available from day one…”

The base trim, no-options $35k Tesla Model 3 will absolutely not be available on day 1. That ship sailed long ago. Anyone still hoping for that has not been paying attention. That base trim M3 may not be available for a year after deliveries start, or possibly even longer.

Oh, yeah, forgot. Once they deliver a few $35k vehicles, then they can say “see, we delivered on our promise, but now prices have risen and now we have to put up the price”, maybe even drop the smallest battery or make AP mandatory, whatever. It’s happened in the past, it’ll happen in the future. Hope I’m wrong on this one.

If you are implying that Tesla is subject to the inflation of the US dollar just like every single other car maker, why yes you are correct.

Inflation will require Tesla to increase prices. Automobile prices have been increasing at a 2-3% rate. If Tesla raised their Model 3 prices $750-$1000 USD every year, they would be matching industry standards.

My guess is that once Tesla gets to the point where they have given all the people who entered a reservation in 2016 a chance to complete their order, Tesla will likely announce a price increase. It is just basic math. Tesla has been talking about a $35K base Tesla for a couple of years, while at the same time the inflation-adjusted real value of $35,000 US dollars has dropped in value by a thousand or two, and will continue to drop.

At some point Tesla will have to rectify the price vs. the falling value of the dollar.

But if what Elon says is to be believed, Tesla ill use increasing automation to bring the unit cost down on the Model 3 as the years pass, allowing Tesla to actually lower the price over time on this car. Elon said Tesla will never make a lower priced model, but then later added that’s because the price will drop over time.

I don’t know that I actually believe him; Elon throws out a lot of hype, and besides he says he’s planning on leaving Tesla within 4 years or so.

Personally, I suspect Tesla will eventually make and sell a lower-priced model, altho that may well not happen until after Elon leaves and someone else takes over the reins of the company.

Raising prices at less than the industry standard would effectively be lowering the price in real dollars (inflation adjusted).

That is what Tesla has done with the Model S.

I’m certain Tesla will increase prices before everyone who ordered in 2016 gets an opportunity to order. It’s not like those people were promised any specific price anyway.

Despite your attempts to write it down to inflation, Tesla instead shows a propensity to underprice cars at the start so they can make great claims for years before their cars come out. Soon after the car is finally available they begin to raise prices so they don’t lose their shirts. With this car seeing higher volume than their other cars I think it’ll see the price rise sooner.

I’d be shocked if we don’t see a price rise on their roof tiles before orders are reopened.

The cost increase for the Model S that occurred about half a year after the initial release was less than inflation between when they announced the price and their first price increase.

What other example do you think exists?

How much will the Supercharging “access” option cost?

Didn’t Tesla say every car would be supercharge capable at no extra cost? It’s just that supercharging will cost money.

I was under the impression that the Model 3 would get 400 kWh worth of charging free every year, and then charging in each state would have a different rate based upon each state’s local electricity costs for Tesla. With the goal to be revenue-neutral on charging.

That was the program they initially rolled out for the Model S and X. But I don’t know if Tesla ever officially said that was what the Model 3 would get.

Musk didn’t say anything about any free supercharging allotment on the Model 3. The pricing is completely unspecified so far. The figures you give are for S/X.

Serious question. Who cares?

Some will pay more, some will pay less. That doesn’t matter at all. What actually matters is what YOU will pay and you’ll only know that once the configurator is on-line!

If Mr. Sullins and his team spent so much time and effort to come up with an estimate, then why did they settle on a nice round figure like $50,000? I think their claim of doing a “deep dive” is, let us say, somewhat exaggerated. 🙄

Elon Musk, who I’m pretty sure has access to better info than Mr. Sullins does, estimated the average selling price of the Model 3 at $42,000. And until someone can demonstrate that their estimate is based on reliable info, I will continue to ignore all other estimates.

How much will a used one be for in say 2018/2019?

About the same as a new since they will still be making reservation cars and cars for people that will make the reservation soon.
So if you can’t buy a new one the used one will be at about the same price as a new one.

The guy is a hack. Case in point: The guy puts up a ‘data’ vid and says that all power used from midnight to 6am in his house was used for his Tesla. You know… cause nobody ever has their HVAC, water heater, etc running at night.

Anyone with any common sense at all can pull figures out of thin air to get somewhat close to what people already expect.

Ben Sullins is in San Diego. He likely doesn’t use his HVAC after midnight and in California it is rare for homeowners to use electricity to heat water.

Of course certainly his refrigerator runs all night.

“Of course certainly his refrigerator runs all night.”

That’s certainly going to make it hard to put a giraffe in it….

Rare to use electricity to heat water? I lived in Tracy for almost two years. We had a water heater that plugged into the grid. This was back when the rolling blackouts first became a thing. So been a while.

If I remember correctly, he just did his yearly cost thing a bit ago. While I could definitely be wrong… when my temps are in the 50’s and 60’s night after night, day after day… I have to run some heat.
Outside of all that, when you call yourself a ‘Data Geek’, your data needs to be impeccable and irrefutable. Otherwise people are going to call you a hack.

edit: I reckon he is probably on nat gas though for heat. Water heater too. Which is what you were saying.

This is a typical example of biased data in the sense that of the 400000 reservation holders only the most enthusiastic are going to put their data on the forum. From there an higher estimated price than the Elon more realistic average of 42000 $. This doesn’t mean the forum is not interesting but obviously the most enthusiastic people on it are also ready to pay more than average on their Model 3.