Exactly a week after Tesla slashed EV prices in China leading to large protests around the country, the automaker has pulled the same stunt in Europe and North America.
The reductions affect the Model 3 and Model Y lines and mean some cars now cost around 20 percent less than they did earlier this week. The entry-level Model Y, for example, which was previously priced at $65,990 in the U.S., now costs $52,990.
Significantly, that puts the Model Y under the $55,000 tax credit cap for electric cars, with the IRS having declared that the five-seat Y isn’t an SUV and so the $80,000 SUV cap doesn’t apply. You can read our exclusive explanation of that minefield by clicking here. Anyway, throw in the $7,500 federal tax credit, and someone buying a Tesla today could walk away with the same car their neighbor purchased a month ago but for $20,500 less.
It’s a similar if slightly less incredible story in Europe. The UK government scrapped its EV grants last year, but an entry-level Model Y now costs £44,900, down from £51,990, and buyers can also make big savings on the Model 3, which now starts at £42,990. In other countries such as France, where EV subsidies still exist, the newly reduced Model 3 now falls below the €47,000 ($51,000) threshold.
Related: The Complete List Of Eligible Cars For The $7,500 EV Tax Credit
Wow, Tesla just announced massive price drops in the US across the board. Model Y LR is now $13,000 cheaper before the tax credit and $20,500 cheaper including the tax credit.
In case you are wondering if this affects my delivery estimate for Q1, yes, yes it does. pic.twitter.com/2OkKQ8XoZh
— Troy Teslike (@TroyTeslike) January 13, 2023
But the move isn’t all about making more of Tesla’s cars qualify for subsidies. It’s almost certainly a move designed to shore up flagging demand in the face of a looming recession, high-interest rates, and strong competition.
Tesla got the jump on old-money automakers by introducing its EVs to a market that offered very little competition and has enjoyed a golden period of sales growth in the last few years. But those legacy carmakers all now have EVs of their own, and Tesla faces an even bigger threat in the face of increasingly strong opposition from aggressively-priced Chinese brands. Those brands have only been a challenge to Tesla in China so far, but are starting to make inroads into the European market, and a North American offensive won’t be far behind.
The price cuts are likely to delight as many people as they infuriate. They’re great news if you were planning to buy a Tesla in the near future, or thought you couldn’t afford one, but a real bummer if you’ve just bought one. A Tesla distribution center and multiple dealer locations around China were hit with protests from angry owners demanding compensation when Tesla announced a similar range of cuts last week.
Are you affected by the price cuts? Drop a comment below and let us know how they affect you.