Could A Well-Equipped Tesla Model 3 Cost Well Over $100,000?

Tesla has been building hyper-enthusiasm for the all-electric Model 3 midsized sedan, but is the $35,000 starting price realistic?

Introduced as a prototype Mar. 31, 2016, the Model 3 with its proposed $35,000 starting price and 215 miles of range per charge spurred about 400,000 buyers to put down $1,000 to reserve one. Tesla says they may have to wait until later in this year for the first one to roll out of the factory.

However, while Tesla has not released Model 3 options pricing, according to one speculation, just adding a few premium features could spike up that base price, easily doubling it or more.

Tesla fan and YouTube video producer, calling himself Shots of Jameson, did his own analysis comparing the Model 3 with the Model S.

Adding in most of the premium features assuming the same price for them as for a Model S will bump up the Model 3 price well over $75,000, according to Shots of Jameson. The fully loaded, packaged Model 3 could in theory go above $100,000, he said in the video, below, but his compromise estimate puts it at maybe $75,000.

Tesla Model 3 pricing chart by Shots of Jameson

Tesla buyers have tended to go that route with its current product lineup; for example, paying well over the base price of $68,000 for the Model S. Tesla drivers do tend to love the performance features just as much as the environmental contributions of the zero-emission vehicle.

Shots of Jameson thinks that Model 3 owners will follow suit, and will choose to upgrade the electric car with a few perks. If they opt into adding upgraded wheels, premium interior features, a glass roof (in place of the standard metal roof), a larger battery, dual motors, Autopilot, premium sound, he says the price will easily jump up to $75,000 or more.

Getting a larger battery pack with more driving range will likely be of interest to Model 3 buyers, and will spike up the price. Tesla has said that the base model’s battery pack will have less than 60 kWh of energy, and that more information will be released later on battery options.

Shots of Jameson came up with his own speculative model on how the cost of the battery will play into the price. The base model could come with about 55 kWh; choosing a 70 kWh battery will add $4,875 to the price and going up to a 90-to-100 kWh battery option will raise the price another $4,875, according to his video presentation.

He speculates that the $35,000 car will have base level appointments. That could mean that the expected and popular heads-up display would not be included in the base package.

Those who are price sensitive about the Model 3 may need to keep their add-ons limited. It’s been estimated that Tesla Motors will quickly pass the 200,000-units sold limit allowed by the federal government for the $7,500 tax credit that applies to its other models. That tax credit would be phased-out and could disappear by the time the Model 3 is in full production volume. State rebates and other incentives would still apply, though.

Those consumers willing to place a pricey order for their Model 3 should be receiving their electric car sooner than those choosing to stay near the $35,000 price. Tesla has said it will build cars with the highest profit value first.

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