The Next Tesla Will Start At $35,000, But Don’t Expect To Pay That Price

Tesla has yet to unveil the Model 3, but the company just confirmed that it will be available starting at $35,000. The Model 3 has long been rumored to cost about this price, and today, Bloomberg is quoting a Tesla spokesperson who confirmed the starting price.

At that price, the car will retail at a price point slightly higher than the average car sells for in the U.S. It will retail for $2,500 under the starting price of the Chevy Bolt, which is set to debut in late 2016 for $37,500.

But Tesla doesn’t expect buyers to pay full price. The U.S. government is offering a $7,500 tax credit, and some states offer $2,500 or $6,000 rebates. When the minimum incentive is included, both the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 will retail for under $30,000 — a key price point in the U.S. market.

Both Tesla and GM are counting on these government incentives to help sell their upcoming EVs. GM even includes the minimum government incentive in the Bolt’s price on the car’s product page. Without these rebates, the price of these so-called affordable EVs are not that affordable.

There’s still a big question looming over the Model 3’s pricing: options. Tesla likes to tout the Model S is available for $55,000 (minus rebates, of course), but that’s the most basic model with the shortest range.

When a bigger battery and all-wheel drive is added, the cost of the Model S leaps to $81,200 including rebates. It’s unclear what the $35,000 Model 3 options will look like.