It’s finally here! The much awaited Tesla Model 3 finally exists! Perhaps you were a little surprised and bummed (like me, admittedly) that you would have to wait even longer for the $35,000 base battery version. Perhaps you’re disappointed that the base model will not come with power seats or that in order to get a glass roof, you’re forced into premium interiors as well. Perhaps you’ve spent your time on Twitter, Facebook and online forums complaining about how you feel bamboozled and just can’t wrap your head around having to spend so much for the minimum amount of features you’re willing to accept.
If you are, let me break it down for you right quick. You cannot compare a Tesla to any other $35,000 car, period. Here’s why:
There are fundamental reasons why an electric car (or a car from any small car company) costs more to start. For one, you are trading a several hundred dollar recurring gas habit for a one time several thousand dollar battery pack. Secondly, you are comparing the cost of manufacturing for a company that makes millions of cars per year to one that has only made a fraction of that count. Those things aside, let me explain to you what you will be getting when you get a $35,000 base Model 3, and see for yourself whether or not these things should or do come standard in any other comparatively priced car.
- Automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance
- 15” touchscreen
- Onboard maps and navigation
- Wi-Fi and LTE internet connectivity
- Remote climate control with app
- Internet streaming radio
- 8 year, 100,000 mile battery warranty (the most expensive part of the car)
I haven’t gone and checked every car out there but let’s assume you’ve found an example that comes with all of the above and more. See for yourself whether any other car in that price range, electric or otherwise, can also claim all of these:
- No haggle pricing
- Online ordering
- No up-selling of tire protection, undercoating or similar dealership options
- Peace of mind that parts and service will never be a profit center
- “Fuel” that costs a fraction of what gasoline does per mile
- No tailpipe emissions
- 0-60 in 5.6 seconds
- Over the air software updates and improvements
- Potentially mobile (come to your door) or remote service to correct problems
- American designed and manufactured
- No salespeople who work on commission
- A huge crumple zone making it exponentially safer in a frontal collision
- A rigid side frame making it exponentially safer in a t-bone collision
While it’s tempting for first time electric vehicle consumer to compare it to a gasoline powered car, take it from me that you just can’t. You can compare the two no more than I can compare my $219.00 microwave to the $219.00 laptop that I recently bought my Mom. One will heat up my food and aside from having a built in timer that can be used when the device itself isn’t in use, has few other features. But it’s great at heating up my food. The other can play music, watch movies, store pictures, compose documents, connect me to the outside world and a whole host of other things. But man is that laptop is lousy at heating up my leftovers.
What else do you get? Cool factor? An American designed and built car? Let me know in the comments!