'Cheaper' Tesla Model 3 nowhere near $35K promised

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

This change could put the Model 3 in an affordable price range for a number of customers - at least while incentives last.

Musk also pointed out that the new mid-range Model 3 costs roughly USA $35,000 after federal and state tax rebates in California.

Tesla customers won't get the full $7,500 federal tax credit starting in 2019 as the company hit a sales threshold that cuts the incentive by 50 percent in the first half of the new year, and then again six months later.

The company has announced a new midrange version of the Model 3 that starts at $45,000.

Since the vehicle was billed as the "affordable Tesla" when it was announced, the announcement was, for many, overdue-especially in light of the company's announcement of a $64,000 "performance" version earlier this year.

Now the self-driving capability option, which costs between $3,000 and $5,000, has been removed from their online design studios, but the company's $5,000 Enhanced Autopilot package is now officially available to order. This new mid-range version of the Model 3 gives Tesla a way to lower the vehicle's price slightly while expanding its addressable market to a wider audience. A dual motor, all-wheel drive version with a long-range battery (310 miles) starts at $54,000.

A Tesla Model 3 sedan, its first auto aimed at the mass market, is displayed during its launch in Hawthorne, California, March 31, 2016.

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Tesla previously promised that the Model 3's base price will start at $35,000, but drivers were disappointed with the $49,000 price tag that was revealed when the auto was launched.

Even the new version, though, doesn't fulfill the company's promises.

This $75,000 Model X was seen in Harare this week and is believed to be the first fully electrical auto to be delivered to the country.

But that price takes into account federal and state tax rebates.

A Tesla representative on Thursday confirmed the doubters' suspicions.

The midrange version has the same battery pack as the long-range model but uses fewer cells.

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