Tesla Begins Selling Cheaper Version Of Its Model 3 Sedan

(RTTNews) - Tesla Inc. (TSLA) began selling a cheaper version of its Model 3 sedan Thursday. The new version features a new mid-range battery and a starting price of $45,000, the electric car maker saida?? $4,000 less than the previous starting price of $49,000. For well more than a year, Tesla has been touting an eventual Model S with a base price of $35,000 that will be affordable enough to appeal to the masses, but one still is not available.

In a tweet Thursday, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk claimed the new model "Costs $35k after federal & state tax rebates in California, but true cost of ownership is closer to $31k after gas savings."

However, the tax rebates that apply to all in the U.S. are expiring a?? since Tesla has hit a key threshold for deliveries, the federal $7,500 electric-vehicle tax credit will be phased out starting in 2019. For buyers who take delivery from January 1 to June 30, 2019, the credit will drop by half to $3,750, and halved again for the period from July 1 to December 31, 2019, then eliminated entirely in 2020.

Tesla expects to start delivering the Model 3 with the new mid-range batteries in six to 10 weeks, the company said.

The new version has a range of 260 miles, Tesla said on its website, compared with the previously available 310-mile long-range battery pack. Musk added on Twitter that long-range batteries, rear-wheel drive and "full self driving" capabilities will be available for only the next week, and will be "off menu" options.
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