Tesla surprises by gaining full $7,500 tax credit on cheapest Model 3, now starts at $30,000

Tesla surprises the market by confirming that buyers of its cheapest Model 3 now have access to the full $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles instead of the previous $3,750.

It’s unclear how they achieved that, but it does bring the price of the Model 3 down to ~$30,000 for those who can take advantage of the tax credit.

As we previously reported, buyers of new Tesla vehicles had access to a new and updated federal tax credit for electric vehicles since the start of the year.

However, some new requirements limit access or the tax credit amount on certain models.

For the two cheapest versions of the Model 3, buyers only had access to half the credit because the batteries in those vehicles were coming from China.

But Tesla has now updated its online configurator to confirm that all Model 3 trims and configurations have access to the full $7,500 tax credit.

As the base Model 3 retails for $40,240, this change means it now starts at $32,740 after federal incentives. If combined with state incentives available in many markets, it can easily cost less than $30,000.

Now it’s unclear how Tesla achieved this and if it means that the new Model 3 RWD and Long Range AWD now have US-made battery cells or if there’s a new deal that allows for Chinese cells.

At first, I thought that maybe the change was related to the new refresh of the Model 3, but Tesla says that the full tax credit now also applies to new inventory Model 3 vehicles available for deliveries now.

With those models starting at $37,830, the Model 3 now basically starts at $30,000 if you qualify for the tax credit. That’s quite a deal.

To quality, buyers need to have an adjusted gross income of less than $300,000 for married couples filing jointly, $225,000 for heads of households, or $150,000 for all other filers.

That used to be a problem for Tesla buyers, but now the cost of ownership of a Model 3 is becoming less than a Honda Accord or Toyota Corolla in most markets.