The Model 3 in Manitoba
Manitoba resident? Don't get your hopes up about the latest Tesla's price
If you know anyone who's into tech, cars, or just generally reads the news, you've probably heard of the Tesla Model 3:
If you're under a rock about it, this is supposed to be the next big thing. This car—a fully electric, moderately priced, well-ranged, beautifully styled hunk of metal—is supposed to be the last step in Tesla's not-so-secret master plan to "move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy" to all-electric vehicles for everyone. They've got years of experience, a foaming-at-the-mouth-loyal fanbase, and the motivation to help the world make a shift.
This is supposed to be the "good looking but affordable" electric car—the electric sedan for the everyman.
But is it?
$35,000 is highly unlikely
During the Model 3's presentation (which I've included at the end of this post, if you want to watch 22 slightly awkward minutes of Elon Musk stuttering), Musk assured the world that even the base model is a very nice car. And at $35,000, how can you go wrong? My 2016 Honda Civic LX was nearly $27,000, and I fill the gas tank every week. This is $8,000 more than a second-tier Civic, but you'll never have to fill it again.
Still, as WIRED points out, the higher configurations (with things like autopilot and insane mode) will likely bring the price up far beyond the base. According to Global, Musk says the average price with upgrades will be around $42,000. A moot point, since Tesla isn't counting on that price—they're counting on a rebated price after EV incentives. That's right—turns out that beyond just savings in gas, buying an EV in the States is a pretty good idea. Not so much in Canada.
In fact, as of this writing, there are no federal rebates available for electric vehicles here. Only three provinces offer rebates—Ontario will give you up to $8,500 for an EV, which is great—but Manitoba is not one of them. Unlike our southern neighbors, if you're buying a Tesla in Manitoba, you're paying the full price.
Our money is garbage
Then there's the actual price: the Model 3 starts at $35,000 US, which, as of this writing, is about $46,000 Canadian. Musk's quote of an average $42,000 price tag brings it up to $55,000 Canadian. So what started out being comparable to a just-above-entry level Honda Civic is really more like an entry level BMW. But I guess that's the target market, isn't it? Tesla is looking to change the world, but they want you to do it in style. I guess we should expect to pay for that.
Don't get me wrong, I would love a Tesla. In 10 years, maybe it'll be my next car. But until it sells at an actual everyman price, I think I'll keep my Civic.