63 Comment

  • Man, I can’t believe how much security they have rolled out for this!

  • Maybe that Iowa congressman was right.

    • There are similar lines in every major and some not so major cities.

    • Two things: 1. this is for the $35,000 model. While $35,000 is still not affordable to many, it is accessible to many more than Tesla’s other models, and 2. the reason for the line is that the first several thousand buyers (the exact number is TBD) will receive a $7,500 tax credit for their purchase.

      • These are good points. But, my understanding is that you can reserve online–so why would anyone wait in line?

      • There’s a quota on the federal tax credit? I know that some states, like CO, have quotas on theirs.
        If the law changes between now and the date of delivery (delivery starts west to east in the US) then you get the credit that is available to you at the time of delivery.
        I was thinking about getting in line, especially because the deposit is fully refundable if you decide not to buy.

        • Okay, I now see that each manufacture can sell 200,000 cars, then their customers no longer get the credit.

          • It’s a bit of optimism in favor of Tesla’s manufacturing capability that they’ll hit that quota anytime soon, since they’re below a quarter of the way there now. But then, it’s also optimism to believe people are going to get the first Model 3s in 2017. So it’s certainly a factor.

      • Except the cars at launch are going to be fully-loaded “launch editions” that will cost closer to $70,000 than $35,000. To put that into perspective, the base price of a Model S is $75,000. Fully loaded with options, it’s $144,500. Similarly, the Model X launch edition is close to $150,000, even though base price is reportedly about half that.
        Also, I pity the person who becomes a Tesla beta tester. Reliability of the Model S and Model X is atrocious, bordering on Chevrolet Vega-levels of bad.

    • I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. $35,000 is barely higher than the average car sales price across America. Not only that, but this will be the most technologically advanced mainstream production vehicle, save for Tesla’s bigger brothers. These will sell like hot cakes. I’d consider about looking into Tesla stock…

      • maxwell smart

        Okay, but generally people don’t put a $1000 deposit down for a car they won’t even receive for at least 1.5 years. Also, there is no way I would spend $40k on a car in DC given the deplorable quality of our roads (and drivers). Nope. No way. I’m going to drive my 2001 car until it falls apart piece by piece.

        • Accountering

          I agree with the second bit, but I don’t agree with the first bit. Clearly, plenty of people are willing to put down a $1,000 deposit on a car they wont see for 1.5 years. This isn’t the 2017 Honda Accord either…. This is a unique situation.

          • We are considering putting money down on one of these. We don’t even own a car, but by the time the car is delivered our incomes will be higher (significantly) and we will probably want/need a car. Teslas are just really fun to drive.
            I’m sure I will be happy with the design and features; I trust Tesla to get it right.

        • I believe the $1k price for reserving ones’ spot in the queue is refundable if you’re willing to drop out of the queue. Additionally, one could probably profit by buying the car with their spot in the queue and reselling it (although this is risky and would involve some capital/credit available).
          So standing in line is not completely crazy. If I had that much use for a car, I might even be in line right now. But I’m with you, ***, the liability of a fancy car is not for me either. I might buy one of these (or a Chevy Bolt or a 110-mile Nissan Leaf) used in the next couple years because I believe strongly in EVs and do occasionally need a car, though.

      • The thing about that 35k number is that it’s only the base price, and nobody spends that much on a Tesla without getting some of the pricey option bundles (few options are available outside of bundles) While the Model S theoretically starts around $70k, some analysis has shown the average purchase price to come to around $105k (citing numbers before incentives, I think).
        So, this 35k is more likely a $50k car for the average purchaser. However, this is still within the realm of normalcy for people who take their cars seriously and are (upper-)upper-middle class. So I still agree with all of your points. Just want to point out the murkiness of the $35k figure.

        • maxwell smart

          and still less then what I owe in student loans. cue sad trombone.

          • Ouch. In that case, I’d definitely stick to old beat up cars until that’s under control!

          • maxwell smart

            My 2001 might be old but it is most certainly not beat-up, thank you very much. As for the loans… well I hope I can get another 20 years out of my car because those are not getting paid off anytime soon.

          • Sorry. My 2003 is very, very beat up. Partially because of the way it was when I acquired it and partially because my wife isn’t very good at maneuvering into our parking space. I guess I was projecting.

  • Wait, they haven’t even unveiled what it will look like yet, right? Am I missing something? While I would love to own a Tesla I would not put $1,000 down on something I haven’t even seen yet!

    • You’ve seen the Model S, right? The Model 3 will closely resembles its older brother. Folks lining up to pay a $1000 deposit know what they’re getting into.

      • It’s also fully refundable, so I guess if you’re just that disappointed in it when it’s unveiled you can get your money back.

  • I’ll take the Chevy Bolt, thanks.

    • Ok I just need to say that it’s absolutely ridiculous to try to compare the Chevy Bolt to anything that Tesla will be producing. From a quick look over its page on Chevy’s site it will take way longer to charge than Tesla’s system for one. One of Tesla’s huge selling points is being able to use their quick charging stations for free for life. It’s also (get this) MORE expensive than the Model 3, if the Model 3 will be $35k. The Bolt actually starts at $37,500 – they’re factoring the $7500 tax credit in to the price they’re advertising.

      • And now I’m confused. To further complicate things, if you click on the “Destination Freight Charges” section for the Bolt, it then quotes the starting MSRP at $33,220 plus the charge of $875 which brings it to $34,095…so I have no clue how much it really is then.

        • Does it really matter though? If the prices are anywhere close, I can assure you that very few will actually pick the Bolt over the Tesla. (To be fair, the Bolt is an engineering marvel in itself to bring it to that price-point. But it’s no Tesla.)

          • Oh I’m with you, I personally will never buy a Chevy anyway. I applaud them for creating a similar car and hope it really takes off, but I was mostly just confused about the pricing for it (it seems fishy, in my opinion).

          • Pricing for non-Tesla cars is always just an estimate anyway. Dealers have a monopoly on the final sales and dealer prices are always subject to highly unpredictable availability and negotiation. Plus, dealers make a lot of their money on financing, so you are likely to get a car for way under MSRP if you’re financing through them (but it’s a trap; cuz they’re profiting a lot off of marking up the interest rate the bank is giving them on the back-end).
            I hope Tesla’s success in direct sales kill dealerships off once and for all! They’re the absolute worst.

          • I’ll totally second that! I hate dealerships.

      • The Tesla comes with manufacturer-provided infrastructure, yes. But the Bolt will likely come enabled for CHAdeMO charging which is comparably fast to Tesla’s supercharger and becoming available more and more places (check out plugshare.com if you want to acquaint yourself with available charging locations). Most of this is irrelevant for normal use, because people are likely going to charge overnight at home anyway, and it doesn’t matter if that takes 1, 4, or 8 hours.
        Exact costs are going to vary immensely because anyone buying a Model 3 will likely get a bunch of fancy options on it. I can basically guarantee the Tesla will generally cost more in general, even if the base price of the Bolt is a little higher.
        Bottom line: both are great cars and EVs are a great and necessary progression of the automobile. People should look at both’s features, costs, and their own charging needs and make a decision about what’s best for them. No need to get into a petty bickering match comparing them.
        I’d just like to make fun of anyone dumb and environmentally negligent enough to buy a new non-hybrid gas car this year and anytime in the future when there are so many great options available and incentives to take advantage of.

        • I’m not trying to be petty comparing them, I was trying to point out the uselessness of trying to suggest another car in it’s place – the people who are going to buy a Tesla, are GOING to buy a Tesla and not a Chevy.

          • Not necessarily true. My wife and I currently drive a very beat up 2003 Honda, and I’d like to replace it in the next few years with a used Leaf, Bolt, or Model 3 (and hopefully keep that one until it’s 15 years old too). Ultimately, it’ll come down to what I can find and what the final prices actually look like.
            If I had a drastic lifestyle switch and it made sense for me to spend a lot on a new car, I’d still carefully weight the pros and cons of all three, even if the Tesla ends up being about 10k more (presumably I’d be financing anyway, so another $100 a month for a car I’m significantly happier with is totally doable; not so much if the Bolt looks just fine and the Model 3 ends up being meh or a hassle to maintain).

  • OP Anon
    If you’re really interested in an electric car, you should look at the Chevy Volt. I think you’ll get better bang for your dollar. The Volt you can get for less than 35k, nicely equipped. You’ll never get a Tesla for less than 35K. Plus the fit and finish is less than what you’d expect on the current cars.
    I know this is online so let me add my credentials. I’ve own nothing but big turbo VWs, Audis, and currently a BMW M3. I don’t drive around in stock cars; I always upgrade turbos and/or get tunes to go with my cars. This out of the way!
    My mom owned a 2012 Volt and just upgraded to a 2016 Volt. That thing is absolutely a blast to drive. The electric power and torque is instant, and you can use gasoline once you’ve gone through the initial charge. She usually charges her car every other day. I managed to drain the charge in less miles than she drive in 2 days. I got on the Go pedal at every traffic light and stop sign and had the biggest grin on my face.

    • The Chevy Volt is great, don’t get me wrong. But it still has an iCE in it. If one doesn’t need the range capabilities of being able to fill up with gas, they can also find a great, readily available, and affordable car in the Nissan Leaf. Big advantage: not having to maintain an iCE engine.

      • I really like the Leaf.

      • My mom looked at the leaf and thought it was boring to drive. She thought it lacked the fun factor. Although she’s in her 60s she’s not quite ready to join the boring side, so she went back and bought another Volt. I have to agree with her on the Leaf. Great for Nissan but a boring piece of appliance.

        As long as I’m around I don’t think she’ll have any concern with driving an ICE. I have no plans on making the switch anytime soon. Well…gas at $10 a gallon. maybe 🙂

        • Yeah, I guess my viewpoint is different because I never have fun driving. I’m either sitting in traffic lights or sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I did find it fun as a kid in the suburbs, though (I was also extremely reckless and probably should have racked up tickets every day, which today I would thanks to cameras). So I can relate a little.

    • A BMW M3!! That’s been my dream car since I was a kid. How do you like Audi? We got rid of our cars, but we’ll probably buy one in 1.5-2 years and I really like the Audi Q3.

      • It makes me sad that in a thread where people are discussing the many options for affordable and functional PHEV and EV, there are still people considering buying ICE cars. I hope you at least buy used, so as not to be directly responsible for another ICE car on the road for the next 20-30 years.
        But to each his own, I guess. 🙁

        • I definitely see your point, but currently all-electric vehicles and hybrids are still priced higher than traditional cars. I just bought a brand new (gas) car a year and a half ago for $17k. There was literally nothing else on the market at that price point with the features I wanted in a manual (who know power locks, air conditioning, and cruise control were “extras” for manuals for many manufacturers?) so I’m with you but many people won’t consider them until the price falls a bit. Which, hopefully, will start to happen rapidly with the advances we’re seeing.

          • If having a new car at that low of a price point is that important to you, sure. Even within the ICE realm, I’d rather have a used car with more features than a barebones new one. And one can buy a used Prius or Volt for far less than $17k.
            But, again, to each his own. Not a personal attack on you; I appreciate that you at least get what I’m saying.

          • We just got burned really badly on our last two cars (both used, both cost us thousands and thousands in repairs within two years of purchasing each time) so we were just ready to not have to stress for a couple years and insisted on new this time around. I wouldn’t turn down a used car in the future, it just wasn’t for us this time.
            I can’t wait to own an all-electric car in the future when charging stations are more prevalent and we hopefully own a home where we can charge it overnight. It’s not possible for us at the moment but I can’t wait for the day that it’s just as easy to own an electric as a gas.

          • I hear you. All progress is good progress!

        • I am in Canada. Cars are much more expensive up here in every way…the car itself, taxes, insurance. The Q3 would cost me 30-35k, whereas a Tesla up here would cost me 40k? 45k? I don’t know, but more. If I could get a Tesla for 30-35k up here then yes, I would definitely consider it as I love Teslas. Furthermore, once we have a car again we will probably make many trips from Toronto to DC (with a child)…stopping to charge a car on an 8-9 hour job doesn’t seem too appealing.

          • Teslas are an extreme case. There are many cheaper hybrids and EVs. Charging isn’t an issue with hybrids.
            You don’t have to get defensive. I’m just saying it makes me sad.

          • Not getting defensive, just saying it wouldn’t work for our lifestyle right now for a lot of reasons. I just love Teslas and personally that’s the car I’d want to own if I was going electric. The biggest thing would be charging it on a longer trip. Could a hybrid make it on a 9 hour trip without a charge? Who knows what the car market will look like in 2 years…we could end up going a completely different way.

          • There are different kinds of hybrids, including many that don’t plug in to charge at all (like most versions of the Prius, including the version that have been available since the early aughts; although those older ones has serious performance issues) and those that charge but can be driven indefinitely on gas (like the Chevy Volts longerterm ME was talking about; they run as full-EVs for 30ish or 50ish miles, depending on pre-2016 or 2016+, or can toggle to being highly efficient gas cars with 40+mpg and a 9-gallon engine).
            So you have options, even with frequent roadtrips and a child. It sounds like you haven’t fully explored them and I hope maybe you do. Or don’t. It’s ultimately your choice.

        • And as I mentioned we’re currently a car-free household whereas we owned two cars in DC. Now we walk to 90% of our destinations or use public trans.

          • The fact that you’re this defensive just shows that you know you should at least be considering a hybrid. I’m just a stranger on the internet; I’m not auditing your ultimate decision.

          • I don’t see how this is getting defensive…I am not against hybrids at all and if we were in DC, it would absolutely be on the list. But I just looked at the 2016 Chevy Volt in Canada and MSRP is from $40,090!

          • Sorry, I may have been quick to call you defensive. The Volts are indeed a bit expensive. Have you looked into Canadian incentives? I heard they’re even better than we are. In addition to federal incentives (which only apply to new ones), many states (and maybe provinces) have additional incentives that also apply to used cars. For instance, in DC and MD, you don’t pay sales tax, which means the car is 6% cheaper, whether new or used, to an equivalently priced gas car.
            You may consider a used Volt, which has been available since 2011. There was a minor generation shift between 2012 and 2013 which extended the range a bit and added the ability to toggle at will between EV and hybrid (as opposed to reverting when the battery was drained to some predetermined amount), so I’d recommend the 2013-2015 models if buying used. I have no idea what they’d cost in Canada, but I’ve seen some 2013s available around DC for around 15-16k.

          • Haven’t really started looking, but I definitely plan on test driving a lot of different cars and we’ll look into the Canadian incentives for hybrids/electric. We have some time and right now I am just enjoying not having to pay car insurance, get oil changes, etc!

          • Cool. Yeah, I’m maintaining an old ICE car now and it (occasionally) sucks. I need it sporadically for work, visiting my parents in the suburbs, and roadtripping up to new england to visit my in-laws. One nice thing is not caring about the car at all and not bothering to pay for collision/comprehensive insurance. That recurring cost has stopped me from finally pulling on the trigger on an EV every time I’ve explored it (which I obviously have, hence all the info I have off the top of my head).
            If I walked out one day and found a tree had fallen on busted car, I’d just shrug and get myself a used or highly incentivized new EV.

      • I should point out that I am VW/Audi fan, so anything I say may be slightly bias. My first car was a VW Jetta, and the second was an Audi A4. I bought the A4 with just a job offer and without a first paycheck. 🙂 I liked what Audi offered in the past, but they’ve become rather boring. They built an A8 and made the A6, A4, and A3 smaller with little differentation. If you don’t know anything about cars it can be diffuclt to tell if you just saw an A3, 4 or 6. The 2.0t engine they have in the base model car is lackluster. I’ve actually suggested to a co-worker to take a look at (sigh) Toyota Camry instead of spending her money on a base Audi with the 20t engine. Overall, great brand and if you don’t plan on muckering around with the engine you should be fine.

        I would also recommend taking at look at the BMW X1 and doing European delivery. You’ll enjoy driving your car in Europe, 🙂

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