Tesla’s cheapest Model 3 with the 2024 tax credit might surprise you

Credit: Whole Mars Catalog/X

The U.S. Treasury’s updated guidance on the federal electric vehicle (EV) tax credit has officially taken effect, as of January 1. With some of Tesla’s vehicles losing access to the credit in 2024, one Model 3 configuration is currently looking more appealing than ever.

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range (LR) and Rear-Wheel-Drive (RWD) configurations are no longer eligible for the $7,500 tax credit as of January 1. However, the Performance model is still eligible and can be purchased for less than the Model 3 LR, as can be seen on the Model 3 order configurator at the time of writing.

With the use of the tax credit, the Performance Model 3 option has now become the second most affordable configuration, though the RWD trim remains Tesla’s cheapest sedan even without the federal rebate.

Tesla’s current Model 3 prices, including the tax credit, are listed below:

  • Model 3 RWD: $38,990 (no longer eligible)
  • Model 3 LR: $45,990 (no longer eligible)
  • Model 3 Performance: $43,490 (after $7,500 federal tax credit)

The change to Model 3 eligibility comes as the redesigned “Highland” has been delivering in auto markets around the world, though it hasn’t yet become available in North America. However, sightings of the Model 3 Highland in the U.S. seem to indicate that its U.S. launch could be imminent, and some have reported that Tesla could make a related announcement sometime this month.

Despite the Performance variant being the only one of Tesla’s Model 3 trims to remain eligible, many of the automaker’s other vehicles still qualify.

  • Model X AWD: $72,490 (after $7,500 federal tax credit)
  • Model Y RWD: $36,490 (after $7,500 federal tax credit)
  • Model Y LR: $41,490 (after $7,500 federal tax credit)
  • Model Y Performance: $44,990 (after $7,500 federal tax credit)

The tax credit has a maximum MSRP on purchases of $80,000 for vans, SUVS and pickups, and another max of $55,000 for other EVs, as can be seen on the IRS website. Additionally, modified adjusted gross income (AGI) can’t exceed $300,000 for married couples filing jointly, $225,000 for heads of households or $150,000 for all other filers.

In certain areas, buyers can stand to gain even more savings, like in Colorado, where new EV purchases are eligible for up to $5,000 in tax incentives that can be stacked with the federal credit.

Currently, the Tesla Cybertruck is not eligible for the federal incentive, and while it’s not clear why, it’s worth noting that the Cyberbeast is above the IRA credit’s MSRP price cap. Meanwhile, it will take some time for the Cybertruck AWD to begin deliveries, though it’s possible that this variant could eventually qualify.

Updated 8:01 p.m. MT: Corrected Model X price after incorrectly listing the pre-tax credit price.

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Tesla’s cheapest Model 3 with the 2024 tax credit might surprise you
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