Q:

What considerations affect the true cost of Tesla car ownership?

A:

Quick Answer

While the initial cost of a Tesla automobile is relatively high compared to other cars as of 2015, federal tax incentives and lower fuel costs can offset the purchase price considerably. Maintenance costs for a Tesla are low, but repairs if the vehicle is in an accident can be expensive.

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What considerations affect the true cost of Tesla car ownership?
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Full Answer

Tesla's only model in high-volume production as of March 2015 is the Model S, a four-door sedan priced at $69,900 for base models. Options can increase this cost substantially, with the top-of-the-line Model S P85D selling for over $105,000. However, up to $7,500 of this cost can be offset by federal tax credits for electric vehicles. In addition, these credits are refundable, so consumers receive the full value of the credit even if it eliminates their tax liability.

Fuel costs for the Tesla Model S are substantially cheaper than current costs for gasoline. Tesla estimates that an average owner who drives 15,000 miles in a year pays $476 per year to charge a Tesla Model S at home, saving upwards of $2,000 dollars on gas costs. However, there may be upfront costs for owners to install compatible charging systems in their garages, since not all garages are wired for the 220-volt outlets a Model S requires for maximum charging speeds.

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