The Orange Man didn’t just kill an Iranian general last week. He may also have killed Tesla.
And not just Tesla.
This runs counter to the reports of Tesla selling more cars in the last quarter of 2019 than it ever sold before – which it did. But only because the federal government has been paying people to buy them.
The president kiboshed a much-lobbied-for “extension” of the $7,500 kickback to electric car buyers that – up to the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve – has been perpetuating the fiction that there is a market for electric cars.
The kickback transformed a $40,000 Tesla Model 3 into a $32,500 Model 3.
Which made it seem cost-competitive with an otherwise similar non-electric compact luxury-sport sedan, such as an Audi A3 ($33,500) and a deal compared with a $40k A4. Discount any car by almost $8k – and let’s not forget the tax-free (and often just free electricity) that electric car owners enjoy at the expense of the rest of us – and it’s no wonder they “sell.”
But without the $7,500 five-fingered discount – which expired along with 2019, courtesy of the Orange Man – the Tesla3 becomes the equivalent of spending three dollars for six ounces of warm Coke that takes five hours to chill. As opposed to 75 cents for 12 ice-cold ounces right now.
Which is actually more like a $50,000 Model 3.
That’s what most of these things actually “sell” for . . . when equipped with a battery that can propel them for more than 220 miles, the best-case range of the $40k model with the standard battery.
Similarly the Nissan Leaf – the most “affordable” electric car you can buy. It’s only $30k – without the five fingered discount. But it only goes 150 miles. If you want more range – 226 miles – the Leaf’s price rises to $36,550.
Without the five-fingered discount.
This is another EV obnoxiousness. Electric cars are almost always presented to the public in their maximum range – and lowest cost – configuration. Which, given the importance of range to usefulness, is like advertising a non-electric car’s cost without a heater.
One that adds a few thousand bucks to the car’s actual price – assuming you prefer not to freeze to death.
Also: An electric car that can only go 220 or so miles is not the same animal as a non-electric car that only goes 220 or so miles – though there aren’t any such. Even a 13 MPG (and 797 horsepower) Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye with a leaking gas tank can go farther than 220 miles . . . without paying extra.
But even if it couldn’t go farther than 100 miles, the Hellcat’s range isn’t an issue because if it runs out of gas, it’s not a big ordeal to put some more gas into it. If an EV runs of juice, you have to bring it to the electricity . . . via a tow truck.
Running low on juice also entails running out of time – which you can’t recover.
Which means that in order to have an EV that’s viable for more than second-car/short-hop use, you have to buy the optional battery – which turns the $40k Tesla 3 into a $47,990 Model 3 (without the five-fingered discount). And even then, you still only get a best-case range of about 300 miles.
If you don’t use the heater, AC – or Ludicrous Speed – too much.
This is going to make “selling” Teslas a lot harder in 2020. And not just Teslas, which mainly appeal to affluent virtue-signalers who want to be seen driving an EV – but don’t want to drive a slow EV.
Or one without the status of a Tesla.
Models like the Leaf – which don’t even have Ludicrous Speed in their favor – just became a lot more . . . ludicrous. It’s one thing to spend – effectively – $22,500 on a base-battery and 150 mile best-case-range Nissan Leaf, the price of the thing after the five-fingered discount. It’s something else to spend $30k on the thing (the cost without the five-fingered discount) when you can buy a non-electric Versa that’s basically the same thing just without the batteries and with a 300-plus mile standard range that costs less than half as much (about $15k – no five-fingered discount required).
Same goes for the other non-Teslas on the market like the 2020 Chevy Bolt, which at least doesn’t cost more to go farther than 220 miles (it comes standard with a stronger battery and 259 miles of advertised range).
But it also comes standard with a $36,620 base price – which is now actually $36,620 rather than $29,120 – the price to the buyer after the five-fingered discount, no longer offered.
Courtesy of the Orange Man.
Which could put the kibosh on electric cars, generally. If the kibosh isn’t put on the Orange Man first.
. . .
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