Model 3 prices have skyrocketed since the start of the year. While it was very well placed against the competition in January, is the “small” Tesla still a good deal?
Remember. In January 2021, Tesla struck a big blow on the French market by lowering the prices of the Model 3. The access version, called Autonomie Standard Plus at the time, had gone from 49,990 to 43,800 €. In contrast, the Performance had fallen from €65,990 to €59,990.
For the entry ticket, this had a big advantage: by going below the €45,000 mark, the ASP benefited from the maximum bonus. At that time, it was €7,000. Which therefore gave a Tesla Model 3 at €36,800 bonus deducted. A really hot price, especially since the vehicle had no discounted services, in particular offering a range of 448 km.
Clearly, taking into account performance, autonomy, equipment or even the size of the vehicle, it was almost unbeatable. We dare say it, it was a good deal. To understand how hard Tesla was hitting, a Peugeot e-2008 GT was displayed at the time at €41,950 excluding bonuses, with much more modest performance and a range of only 320 km. A Volkswagen ID.3 Family was as expensive as the Tesla, but smaller and with less “trendy” branding.
But if Tesla’s prices have been stable throughout 2021, it’s a different story in 2022. You know it if you are a faithful reader of Automobile-Propre, Tesla has been chaining price increases since January . The brand reflects the increase in the prices of raw materials and transport. Some will think that it also wants to take advantage of the craze for its vehicles…
Up to €10,500 increase, excluding bonus
Let’s take the access model, now simply called Model 3. Still displayed at €43,800 at the start of January, it has risen to €44,990. Then two increases in March took the price to €46,990 and then €49,990! Add another €3,500 over the May/June period, and you now have €53,490. Added to this is a bonus loss, with 3 now in a bracket with a €2,000 assist.
If we put aside the bonus, the Model 3 has increased by €9,690 in six months! And that’s not all. The other variants also experienced inflation. The Long Autonomy version went from €51,990 to €62,490 in just a few months, an increase of €10,500. For Performance, it’s not as bad, with an increase of €6,500 and a latest price of €66,490.
Admittedly, the increases concern most brands. But as Tesla gives the impression of having had a heavy hand, one wonders if the small Tesla sedan remains well placed in the electric car market, which is constantly evolving.
On the entry-level side, the ID.3 already has less to be ashamed of. It is currently offered in a single Pro Performance Active version, with a 204 hp block and good equipment, for €44,680. But the range is less, with 415 km, while the Model 3 now announces at least 491 km thanks to a new battery.
Above all, we are well aware that the ID.3 is smaller. For similar dimensions among generalist firms, we find for the moment rather SUV and crossover. And one of them has just made a remarkable launch, it is Kia with its EV6, with a size close to the Model 3. The Korean is less muscular, but displays a good autonomy of 528 km. Its starting price is €48,690, in Air Active finish. With an advantage: the possibility of negotiating to lower the price below €45,000 and have the maximum bonus, definitely forgotten at Tesla. Note that in one year, the Kia has increased by “only” €700.
The BMW i4 has its say
If we have to look at premium competition, things could also go wrong for the Model 3. New troublesome rival, the BMW i4, displayed from €59,950, a price that places it between the classic Model 3 and the Model 3 Grande Autonomy. At this price, we have a block of 340 hp and a range of 590 km.
The price / performance ratio is therefore well aligned, and this time no lack of notoriety at BMW! Clearly, the Bavarian has become competitive, as it has hardly touched its price since the opening of orders a year ago, with just €250 more. BMW wanted to stay below the €60,000 mark which gives access to the bonus!
Comparative test: can the BMW i4 counter the Tesla Model 3?
Tesla has a bit of an advantage for the more muscular variants, with the i4 M50 being at €73,750, up from €2,100 in one year. It is therefore more than the 66,490 € of the Model 3 Performance, which offers a little more autonomy (547 km against 520 for the German).
Obviously, the comparison and choice of an electric vehicle is based on a set of criteria, not a simple price/range calculation. The Tesla thus has the advantage of its network of “Superchargers”, which, however, is beginning to face strong competition from the Ionity network to which the BMW has access. Customers of the i4 also benefit at this time from one year of free Ionity recharge.
Another important aspect of the moment: delivery times. And they don’t play in favor of Tesla. Access Model 3s will not be delivered before January 2023. Some customers in a hurry can therefore look elsewhere.