Base Tesla Model 3 gets more range, slower acceleration, $8,000 price hike vs. earlier this year

Tesla has once again made changes to the Model 3 lineup, including another $1,000 price increase for the base version that went into affect on Thursday.

The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which was previously the de facto base model, was replaced by an unnamed base rear-wheel drive Model 3 trim level just earlier this week. All-wheel drive Long Range and Performance versions remain in the lineup as well.

With an EPA-estimated 272 miles of range, the base Model 3 gets a 10-mile boost over the Standard Range Plus. But the new Model 3 is slower-accelerating, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds, compared to 5.3 seconds for the defunct Standard Range Plus.

Tesla Model 3 base rear-wheel drive on Tesla website November 2021

Tesla Model 3 base rear-wheel drive on Tesla website November 2021

The change also makes the base price of a Model 3 now $46,190. Just last month, the price of a base Model 3 went up by $2,000, to $41,990. So the cost of a base Model 3 is now $8,000 more than earlier in 2021, when it started at $38,190.

Long Range versions of both the Model 3 and Model Y get range increases as well. The Model 3 Long Range now has 358 miles of range, while the Model Y Long Range has 330 miles. Those are increases of five miles and four miles, respectively.

For the Model Y especially, some of this is likely repositioning ahead of the introduction of Model Y versions made in Texas with larger 4680 cells and a new body structure approach.

2020 Tesla Model 3

2020 Tesla Model 3

Tesla is also likely betting on the restoration of the federal EV tax credit for it—which at $7,500 or more, would erase the price difference but increase revenues for the company. Tesla isn't currently eligible for the credit because it previously reached the 200,000-unit production cap, but new legislation might soon eliminate that rule.

Tesla price fluctuations are nothing new, but in this case it might be due to the automaker being caught off guard by the rising demand for EVs, as CFO Zachary Kirkhorn indicated during a recent financial call.

Is there something that makes this model a deal at $8,000 more than earlier in the year—with running changes that justify the run-up? Let us know in your comments below.

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UPDATED 11/5/2022
The piece was originally published on 11/3/2022 and updated to reflect yet another $1,000 price hike to the base Model 3, just two days after a price hike and repositioning.

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