Tesla Model 3 Now Starts at $48,490, but the Price Increases Don't Stop There

The dream of a $35,000 Model 3 is well and truly gone, but Model X buyers have it worse.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
Tesla Model 3
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Tesla Model 3

If you're still dreaming of a cheap Model 3, it's time to let that go.


Remember when the was supposed to cost $35,000? Yeah, that number blew a lot of people's minds when Tesla CEO  Elon Musk announced it back in 2016. While the company technically hit that number, briefly, it was never really widely available and, judging by a report Monday by Electrek, that dream is further away than ever.

By that, I mean that Tesla's cheapest available electric car -- a rear-wheel drive, optionless Model 3 -- will set you back $48,490, including Tesla's destination fee, thanks to yet another recent price bump of $2,000. That's a long way off from $35,000, so how did we get here?

Well, first, we have demand. Tesla's cars are popular, and now, with gas prices skyrocketing, the company has seen a huge surge in orders for its vehicles. This isn't unique to Tesla, as people always seem to get a little more interested in going electric when gas prices go up, but that extra demand allows Tesla to charge more.

Next, we're still in the midst of a global semiconductor shortage, and other worldwide supply chain issues are ongoing. This makes it more expensive for Tesla to build its cars, and that cost gets passed on to customers.

Of course, price increases are happening across the Tesla product range, and while a base Model 3 starting at nearly $50,000 is a bummer, folks looking at a are getting a worse deal. Tesla's flagship SUV had avoided price increases for a while, but its base price is now getting a $10,000 bump. That's got to be a hard pill to swallow for prospective buyers.

What's the takeaway for consumers? Either buy your Tesla as soon as you're able because prices are likely to keep going up, or -- and this is what we'd recommend -- look at some of the other EVs on the market. The EVs now coming out from legacy manufacturers have seriously closed the gap in range and offer similar levels of tech for less money.

Meet Roadshow's long-term 2021 Tesla Model Y

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