Investor's Corner

Tesla Model 3 to start under $27,000 in South Korea amid local, national subsidies

(Photo: Andres GE)

Tesla announced on Tuesday that it was formally launching the Model 3 sedan in South Korea, as part of the company’s efforts at breaching the country’s growing EV market. What is particularly interesting to note is that the Model 3’s starting price in South Korea could start as low as ~$26,500 in some areas of the country. 

Tesla lists the Model 3 Standard Range Plus with a starting price of 52 million won (about $43,000) in South Korea, which is higher than the vehicle’s list price of $38,990 in the United States. This is fairly expected, considering that the Model 3’s starting price is adjusted depending on the region where it is being sold. Nevertheless, when South Korea’s incentives come into play, things get very interesting. 

South Korea grants generous incentives to buyers of electric vehicles. The national government offers an EV subsidy of 9 million won (about $7,400) for each electric car purchase, which is notable on its own. As noted in a report from The Korea Times, provincial governments also give out incentives of their own, and some of them could reach up to 11 million won (about $9,100). 

This means that a Tesla Model 3 buyer in South Korea could get as much as $16,500 off the electric sedan’s $43,000 starting price. This rounds out to an adjusted price of just about $26,500 for a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus. Considering that the base Model 3 is already fitted with basic Autopilot as standard and a suite of safety features, the vehicle in its base trim could arguably be one of the best bang-for-the-buck cars in South Korea. 

The Model 3 is expected to allow Tesla to tap into South Korea’s mainstream auto market that was previously inaccessible with the Model S and Model X. In South Korea, the flagship sedan and SUV start at 111 million won ($91,500) and 119 million won ($98,000) before incentives, which puts the vehicles out of reach for conventional car buyers. Considering that the Model 3 starts at just 52 million won before incentives, the electric sedan could very well become one of the most practical EVs available in the country in terms of price, features, and specs. 

Tesla continues to expand its charging infrastructure in the Asian country. Apart from being able to charge their electric vehicles from the comforts of their homes, South Korean Tesla owners could also utilize one of the 22 Superchargers and 172 Level 2 chargers across the country, which is pretty notable considering that the entire nation is smaller than the state of Oklahoma, which is currently supported by six Superchargers. First customer deliveries of the Model 3 in South Korea are expected to begin around the fourth quarter of 2019. 

H/T Vincent Yu.

Tesla Model 3 to start under $27,000 in South Korea amid local, national subsidies
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