• Some of the cheapest EVs in the US are Tesla models.
  • There are also other financial considerations to make if you’re considering a purchase, including battery and Tesla charging costs. 
  • Tesla changes its pricing frequently for its different models.

Tesla sells some of the cheapest electric vehicles on the market today after CEO Elon Musk spent the past year and a half slashing the prices of his most popular cars.

The constant price cuts kicked off a price war between Tesla and mainstream car brands like Ford and GM. Tesla initially had the upper hand, but cracks began to show in the price cutting strategy after Tesla released disappointing financial results in the first quarter.

Musk’s electric car company is finally starting to feel the pinch as lower prices cut into Tesla’s bottom line.

Here’s a look at where the pricing stands for each of the models. 

What is the cheapest Tesla model?

The Tesla Model 3 is the cheapest model. The starting price for the Tesla Model 3 is around $38,990 for the Rear-Wheel Drive, $47,490 for the Long Range All-Wheel Drive variant, and $54,990 for the Performance All-Wheel Drive variant.

The next cheapest model is the Tesla Model Y. The starting price for the Tesla Model Y is around $44,490 for the Rear-Wheel Drive, $47,990 for the All-Wheel Drive model, and $51,490 for the Performance model. 

Tesla has initiated extensive markdowns on the prices of the Model 3 and Model Y since early 2023, making some cost less than the average new car in the US. That’s an important distinction for a new crop of EV shoppers who are more practical and frugal that the wealthy early adopters that first dominated the market.

What is the most expensive Tesla model?

Tesla Model S and the Model X are the most expensive models. The Tesla Model S is around $72,990 for the Long Range variant and $87,990 for the Plaid variant.

The starting price for the Tesla Model X is around $77,990, and $92,990 for the Plaid variant.

The Tesla Roadster is expected to be the most expensive model when it enters production, at a base price of around $200,000.

Do Teslas qualify for a tax credit?

After changes to eligibility requirements went into effect at the start of the year, only some Tesla models are eligible for a $7,500 EV tax credit. As of June, two Model Y variants and two Model 3 variants were eligible while only Long Range version of the Model X can receive the $7,500 credit. 

How long do Teslas last? 

A big concern for prospective EV buyers is if the battery will need replacing. EV battery replacements could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000.

In Tesla’s 2021 impact report, it said that the company’s battery packs are designed to outlast the vehicle.

“We estimate that a vehicle gets scrapped after approximately 200,000 miles of usage in the U.S. and roughly 150,000 miles in Europe,” the report said. 

A warranty also covers Tesla’s batteries. Models have slightly different warranties, but they’re generally covered for 8 years or between 100,000-150,000 miles (whatever comes first). 

While EVs as a category do have more frequent problems than other vehicles, such as issues with battery packs and charging, Tesla models stand out for their reliability. 

Is Tesla charging free? 

No, Tesla charging isn’t free (although the company sometimes offers a limited amount of free Supercharger miles with a vehicle purchase) and the cost varies based on if you charge at home or one of Tesla’s proprietary Superchargers. 

At a Supercharger, charging costs vary based on the speed across four tiers and on time — not range or energy added to your vehicle. Charges will also change based on electricity costs. 

On average, a Tesla will charge about 4.5 cents per mile, according to EnergySage estimates, depending on local electricity costs. A full charge on a level-2 charger will run you about $15.52 on average, the site says, though costs vary for each model. 

The cost of charging a Tesla is more than three times cheaper per mile than the cost of fueling a gas-powered car, a savings stat that Tesla often rolls into initial sticker prices on its website. You have to toggle off estimated savings to see the full base prices on Tesla’s website.

EnergySage estimates that it costs $614.95 to charge your Tesla per year. In comparison, gas-powered cars cost an average of $1,850.42 to fuel per year.

Tesla Superchargers also charge an “idle fee” if a car remains plugged in after it is fully charged in order to serve more customers efficiently. 

Some Tesla vehicles also include free charging, sometimes added as an incentive when purchasing. Free charging is also available through Tesla’s referral program. 

To get the cheapest charging, you’ll need to charge at home. If you already have a 240-volt outlet in your garage (equivalent to level 2), you can simply buy a charger and plug it in. Otherwise, an electrician will likely need to install one for you. 



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