Print 37 comment(s) - last by superstition.. on Dec 24 at 12:19 AM

Cheapest Tesla Model S won't be available until Winter 2012

Tesla Motors has been teasing its gorgeous Model S electric sedan for well over two years now. Now the company has confirmed the official pricing for the vehicle, and is holding firm on the $49,990 price of entry after $7,500 federal tax credit.
As it stands now, here's how the four Model S variants will stack up (compared based on their battery capacity). All price listed include the tax credit:
(40 kWh)
$49,900, 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, 110 mph top speed, 160-mile range
(60 kWh)
$59,900, 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, 120 mph top speed, 230-mile range
(80 kWh)
$69,900, 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, 125 mph top speed, 300-mile range
(85 kWh Performance)
$79,900, 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, 130 mph top speed, 300-mile range
All Model S sedans come standard with a 17" touchscreen, 19" wheels, and seating for up to seven passengers. Yes, you read that correctly; the Model S has seating for seven courtesy of two [optional] rear-facing jump seats in the rear cargo area.


Tesla Model S

Tesla's ordering page also lists all of the available options for the Model S including a $1,500 panoramic roof, $3,750 tech package, $1,500 active air suspension, and $1,500 rear-facing seat option.
The two 85 kWh variants will be made available in Summer 2012, the 60 kWh arrives in the Fall 2012, and the entry-level 40 kWh variant won't be available in the U.S. until Winter 2012 if all goes as scheduled. 

Tesla Model S jumpseats [Source: Autoblog]

Sources: Tesla Mors [Press Release], Tesla Motors [Pricing and Options]

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By mjdaly on 12/20/2011 10:54:28 PM , Rating: 5
I will ask this once, and then I might get angry.

Can we please stop listing the price of the car with the tax subsidy taken off? This goes for all cars that receive direct tax subsidies. Depending on ones end of year tax liability, you may or may not actually get the money back.

An example would be if you are self employed and end up with a $10,000 tax bill after all deductions, the $7,500 tax credit is all used up and you still owe $2,500. You get nothing back and the car still cost $7,500 more.

Yes, you get a tax credit. No, the price of the car does not change and you may or may not get the money back at the end of the year.

The price of entry for the lowest level of the car is $57,400 and should be reported as such.

RE: Please....
By Shig on 12/20/11, Rating: 0
RE: Please....
By Samus on 12/20/2011 11:52:09 PM , Rating: 2
I know what you mean, because if Obama isn't re-elected, I'm sure the first thing a fiscally conservative president is going to do is ban-hammer that ridiculous tax credit.

But at the same time, most vehicles (and electronics; televisions, phones, bluray players, etc) are usually listed after "rebates" or "credits". They could be instant rebates, mail in rebates, trade-ins, buyer credit incentives, various payment plans...the list goes on. Nobody advertises things at the MSRP anymore.

Anybody who can afford these luxury car-class vehicles doesn't need $7500 out of 'our' pockets. The car is reasonably priced without tax-payer support for the market it is targetting.

RE: Please....
By Spuke on 12/21/2011 12:18:20 AM , Rating: 4
The car is reasonably priced without tax-payer support for the market it is targeting.
I agree.

RE: Please....
By The Raven on 12/22/2011 7:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah the subsidy is rediculously unneccesary. And before anyone wants to tell me how great it is that the gov't supports this and "the environment," etc. blah blah blah...they best consider that this money going to very well off people is not going to any starving kids, soldiers fighting for our freedom, or anything else that you might deem more worthy (like CFLs).

It would be nice to have my own money to invest than having to rely on the gov't to decide what charities I will be supporting. And how heroic are these politicians who are so gernerous with other people's money?

RE: Please....
By YashBudini on 12/22/2011 9:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

The tax credit should apply only when the price is really out of whack with the market price. As noted here it is not.

Politicians are the worst economists, perhaps we need to examine the credentials of their advisers. Anybody have a colon-scope handy?

RE: Please....
By jimbojimbo on 12/21/2011 9:50:53 AM , Rating: 3
The main HUGE difference between those rebates and this tax break is the rebates are paid by those companies directly involved but the tax breaks are paid by all of us. If Tesla was going to give away $7500 per car hell yeah they could say they're selling for $50k but they're not. It's coming out of our pockets.

RE: Please....
By superstition on 12/24/2011 12:16:43 AM , Rating: 2
The Bush administration had a tax loophole that allowed businesses to write off Hummers. That same "loophole" didn't cover small efficient vehicles.

"Conservatives" love tax loopholes, too.

The Bush administration exempted power plants from "tough new mercury air pollution regulation". Power plants are the largest emitters of mercury.

RE: Please....
By superstition on 12/24/2011 12:19:07 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and exempting power plants from mercury pollution regulation (the installation of mercury traps) makes electric vehicles and plug-in vehicles particularly polluting.

One analysis I read recently said coal vehicle power is dirtier than modern petroleum-based power trains.

RE: Please....
By YashBudini on 12/22/2011 9:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
Rich people usually don't have a problem getting their due tax credits.

Well that's why the Tax Foundation only talks about the tax rate of the AGI amounts, never counting such tax credits or even Schedule A. Why is that? Take a look at the board of the Tax Foundation and formulate your own answer.

RE: Please....
By androticus on 12/20/2011 11:38:50 PM , Rating: 2
If you get a 7,500 credit... you are up 7,500. It makes no difference whether you owe anyone anything or not.

RE: Please....
By mjdaly on 12/21/2011 12:02:03 AM , Rating: 1
Except it is not.

A $7,500 tax credit does not "give" you anything unless you owe nothing. It means only that the government is going to take less.

If this were a direct rebate off the price of the car, then yes, it would be a plus. Rather, this is a modifier on how much the government is going to take from you this year.

The fact remains, the price of the car does not change.

RE: Please....
By SigmundEXactos on 12/21/2011 12:26:19 AM , Rating: 5
You don't seem to understand how tax credits (not tax deductions) work. If before you owed $10,000 in taxes, and you bought this car (for $57,400), you would now owe $2,500 in taxes. In other words, you effectively paid $10,000 in taxes regardless, and if you buy this car, the effective cost is $49,900.

RE: Please....
By mjdaly on 12/21/11, Rating: -1
RE: Please....
By kingmotley on 12/21/2011 2:05:51 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, so instead of writing a check to the government for $10k, now I'm only writing a check for $2.5k, and you say that doesn't matter? You're being silly.

That's the same as if I wrote them a check for $10k, and they wrote me one back for $7500.

RE: Please....
By mcnabney on 12/21/2011 9:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
I would also point out that since it is a tax credit it is refundable.

That means if you are retired and have NO INCOME, you can still get your $7500 back as a tax credit.

RE: Please....
By mjdaly on 12/21/2011 12:24:15 PM , Rating: 1
If you look what was said below, this tax credit is actually non-refundable. I made a similar assumption in my example above and after looking it up, confirmed it is non-refundable. You will never get the money back from the credit itself.

RE: Please....
By jimbojimbo on 12/21/2011 9:54:34 AM , Rating: 1
So you wouldn't care if I stole $10,000 from you or $2,500? OK, I'll take the $10,000 since it's all the same to you.

RE: Please....
By idiot77 on 12/21/2011 1:23:10 AM , Rating: 2
No, it's you that does not understand.

Not all tax credits are refundable (child care, education, etc), but some are. Go look at a 1040 and look at the two different places they put tax credits. One you MUST have a tax due before taking it, the other you can actually get a credit back even if you don't have tax due. As I recall those are all related EIC and a couple other more obscure (and often very old) rules.

RE: Please....
By mjdaly on 12/21/2011 1:55:22 AM , Rating: 1
You are correct, I missed that this credit is non-refundable.

My overall meaning here is that the tax credit doesn't actually change the price of the car, and depending on end of year tax liabilities, you might not even get the full use of the credit. It is a modifier on what the government is owed, not one on what has been paid for the car.

Truthfully, this tax credit shouldn't even exist. This is just one more example of why our tax system sucks.

RE: Please....
By sigmatau on 12/21/2011 11:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
That must be the worst example of all examples made on the Internet.

Dude, you still get $7500 to pay your tax liability. If you didn't buy that car that year you wouldn't have the $7500 to pay your $10000 tax liability.

So by your example, if someone gets $50,000 back from their taxes from their income or whatever, and buys this car the same year, he he would be getting it free?

RE: Please....
By kingmotley on 12/21/2011 1:49:52 AM , Rating: 3
That's not how tax bills work. If you end up with a $10k tax bill, and now you are only paying $2.5k, you still saved $7.5k. The worst case is where you didn't make enough to owe more than a $7.5k tax bill, then you only get a partial credit, but most people looking to buy a $50k car will have earned more than that.

RE: Please....
By mjdaly on 12/21/11, Rating: 0
RE: Please....
By Solandri on 12/21/2011 3:50:54 AM , Rating: 3
In this context, they are the same thing.

You have $70k in the bank.
The car costs $57.5k, leaving you with $12.5k in the bank.
You owe $10k in taxes.
You get a $7.5k tax credit, and thus pay $2.5k in taxes.
You have $10k in the bank remaining.

You have $70k in the bank.
The car costs $50k, leaving you with $20k in the bank.
You owe $10k in taxes, and pay $10k in taxes.
You have $10k in the bank remaining.

In both cases you end up with the same amount of money in the bank. The only time it makes a difference is if you owe less than $7.5k in taxes, or if you have between $50-$57.5k in the bank, in which you can't afford the up-front cost of the car to take advantage of the tax credit.

The point you're making (saving money by not buying the car) is a valid one. But the tax credit is irrelevant to that argument.

RE: Please....
By jimbojimbo on 12/21/2011 10:03:31 AM , Rating: 2
The only problem with the second part there is the car doesn't cost $50k. It costs $57.5k so you'd end up with $2.5K in the bank at the very end.

RE: Please....
By Rukkian on 12/21/2011 11:10:40 AM , Rating: 2
He was trying to show that paying 57.5k for the car and getting the credit is exactly the same in the end as paying 50k for the car and not getting the credit. It ends up the same, not sure what you do not understand.

I do agree on the part that this credit should not exist on 50k cars (or any cars?) as either it makes sense or it doesn't, and I have a feeling that EV car manufacturers are inflating prices since they know they can advertise that you get the credit and just basically pocketing the money from everybody's pockets that actually pay taxes.

RE: Please....
By Redwin on 12/21/2011 10:30:40 AM , Rating: 2
But Ben Franklin told me a penny saved is a penny earned.

RE: Please....
By web2dot0 on 12/21/2011 6:53:12 AM , Rating: 2
It's called Marketing. I don't understand your anger. It's tax credit to help promote the migration to electric cars. It's the same for hybrid. This is not specifically restricted to Tesla. The Volt also are eligible for the same kinda of "discount". Where were you when Volt was announced?

Why don't you sit back and relax a little. If Tesla is a colossal mistake, we'll find out soon enough.

BTW, the gov't already lend Tesla a whack of money. Don't you want it to succeed? If not, wouldn't it be a waste of gov't resources, which you fiscal conservatives hate.

You can argue about the decision to fund it, but once the decision is made, we should all want them to succeed.

I don't like the Iraq war, but I also don't want the war to fail out of spite.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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