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Buy Model 3 Standard Range Plus now or wait for LFP and tax credit?

My current car, a 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid has about 90,000 miles on it. It's been great, reliable, low to no maintenance. I bought it new. Have been a Tesla fan all along. Twice in the past year and a half I was about ready to pull the trigger on an interim car - a Ford Edge or newer Accord Hybrid. My justifications were to get CarPlay and a little more cargo capacity (Accord Hybrid trunk is small). Anyway, at the beginning of the year it seemed that the stars have aligned and I think I'm ready to get a Tesla.

Actually grabbed a last minute order for a Model Y SR after they pulled it from site. Spent a day at Tesla last week drive the Y and the 3 and am 90% on board for the 3 and will likely forfeit my $100.

Drove a Mach-E yesterday. Really nice. But it's TOO NEW. I've wanted a Tesla forever, since before the Model 3. A friend reminded me of this. So, I want to do it.

BUT...

There's the tax credit coming back and I wonder about the LFP batteries.

First the batteries. I'll buy an SR+. I know they're using the LFP batteries in China builds. Some early issues, but from what I can tell they're a good fit, especially the long lifetime aspect. I don't plan to keep this car for more than a couple of years, so I won't drive it 1,000,000 miles. But it might help resale. So I wonder if waiting a bit for those would make sense. But does anyone know when Fremont cars will start using LFP?

Second the tax credit. A bill was introduced in February that would extend the credit and new Teslas would get $7,000 credit. Even a base Model 3 is expensive to me, so that $7,000 is a big deal. Some have said optimistically maybe we'll see that by the end of the summer. But who really knows? It might be even later, next year maybe, or not even pass.

If I wait for it and it doesn't pass that would suck. Would also suck if I buy now then it passes in a couple of months.

If it does pass some have said that Tesla may bump prices a bit. Might be a run on orders and they'll be hard to get. Also, it's really more like $6,000 in savings over the life of the loan when I factor in the added sales tax and interest, especially if I don't use the proceeds to pay down the loan next April.

Guess there's never a perfect time, always something better. Just need someone to push me off the dock. :D
 
Don't make any assumptions about the bill. Who knows when they'll get to it and most likely Republicans will make it hard/impossible to pass (Democrats can't use reconciliation like they did for the Covid relief bill that was just passed). Here is the bill if you want to follow it :


If you CAN wait, then wait (save up more money too). If you want it now, just buy it now as you get to enjoy it now.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
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Nov 28, 2018
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Riverside Co. CA
I am a bit confused by your post, OP.....

On the one hand, you mention that "even an SR+ is expensive for me", yet on the other hand you say "I dont plan to keep this car more than a couple of years". Buying a car and planning to sell it in the first couple of years is usually not a good idea. Even for teslas, that currently have a high resale value, its still not a "great" idea, and no one can predict what resale values will do in the future.

If its a tight fit financially to get the car, you likely should be planning to also keep it, and not get rid of it in a couple years. Buying a car new and getting rid of it in a couple years is something that people do when they dont care about the financial hit.

If you "really" dont think you want to keep the car, then you likely should lease it, not buy it, even though the resale values currently are pretty good. That fits within your "only want to keep it a couple years" time frame.

We simply dont know what the effect of the new batteries will be on resale. If they continue to have slower charging speeds and worse performance in the cold, people may actively avoid them, for example.
 
On the one hand, you mention that "even an SR+ is expensive for me", yet on the other hand you say "I dont plan to keep this car more than a couple of years". Buying a car and planning to sell it in the first couple of years is usually not a good idea. Even for teslas, that currently have a high resale value, its still not a "great" idea, and no one can predict what resale values will do in the future.
Good observation. Historically I've kept cars for a long time.

Approaching 60 years old, I've owned
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid - 7 years
2001 Honda Accord - 11 years
1989 Honda Accord - 14 years

I say I don't plan on keeping it for more than a couple of years for a number of reasons.

First, I'd like to start not hanging on to cars for so long. As I get older I'd realize that if I keep cars for over a decade each then I've only got a couple of cars left in my lifetime :(. I'd like to change out more often and enjoy new things. I've really wanted to get into an EV for a long time. My Accord Hybrid is kind of like a baby EV or transition EV. When I got it the only Tesla was a Model S starting at $75,000 or so.

So the timing and the price is right for me to get in to an EV. And the best choice for a pure EV today or even the next 12 months is a Tesla. In three to four years once Ford, VW, Hyundai and others prove themselves or not, there might be lots of better choices for me. It will be interesting and fun. But right now I'm not placing my money on unproven newcomers.

Anyway, I may end up keeping the Model 3 for 10 years, but not really expecting to.

Tesla doesn't lease cars to KY residents. Maybe a 3rd party lease is a good deal, don't know. But I'm not sure I could ever talk myself into a lease. I don't like someone else having that kind of control over "my" car.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,322
18,156
Riverside Co. CA
Good observation. Historically I've kept cars for a long time.

Approaching 60 years old, I've owned
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid - 7 years
2001 Honda Accord - 11 years
1989 Honda Accord - 14 years

I say I don't plan on keeping it for more than a couple of years for a number of reasons.

First, I'd like to start not hanging on to cars for so long. As I get older I'd realize that if I keep cars for over a decade each then I've only got a couple of cars left in my lifetime :(. I'd like to change out more often and enjoy new things. I've really wanted to get into an EV for a long time. My Accord Hybrid is kind of like a baby EV or transition EV. When I got it the only Tesla was a Model S starting at $75,000 or so.

So the timing and the price is right for me to get in to an EV. And the best choice for a pure EV today or even the next 12 months is a Tesla. In three to four years once Ford, VW, Hyundai and others prove themselves or not, there might be lots of better choices for me. It will be interesting and fun. But right now I'm not placing my money on unproven newcomers.

Anyway, I may end up keeping the Model 3 for 10 years, but not really expecting to.

Tesla doesn't lease cars to KY residents. Maybe a 3rd party lease is a good deal, don't know. But I'm not sure I could ever talk myself into a lease. I don't like someone else having that kind of control over "my" car.

Ok, that makes perfect sense as to reasoning, and thanks for taking the time to answer.

Back to your original question, as I mentioned I dont think its clear whether people actually prefer the new batteries yet. There is a HUGE thread here on lots of examination etc, and I am not keeping up with it because its not something that interests me personally. With that being said, the general gist of that thread was concern over performance of the new batteries in the cold (heat pump), and slower charging speeds (I think).

Also, it seemed like there was some concern over max power vs state of charge differences.

If I remember, in general, some thought that these things could be worked out with firmware, but as I said I havent been following it closely. This could turn out to be something where people prefer the older battery vs the new one for resale, for example.

Its hard to predict such a thing, especially with tesla, since they change things so often. So, my advice would be to buy when you are ready to buy, not before, or after. Waiting for the "next thing" will have you always waiting for "the next thing", and you waited a long time already.
 
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The assumption here is that the price won't go up if/when the tax credit actually passes. :p
I wouldn't begrudge Tesla too much if they did - unless it comes out of my wallet. But, as a company that needs to be healthy, why not. It seems they're able to sell every car they can build. Why not bump the prices a little or change the configuration a little to squeeze some more margin if they can.

I'd say a $2,000 bump or equivalent feature change is about a 65% possibility if the tax credit returns.

What odds do you guys give it? (A price bump if the credit comes back)
 
A $2k bump in price with the incentive wouldn't change my mind - I'd jump at it. But I think $5k would (I'd pass on the car). Wouldn't surprise me. I'd be more surprised if they didn't.

Looking at a 2021 LR AWD. Some overlap with the OP. Not retired yet, so if I want a new toy, sooner rather than later.

Are they putting LFP batteries in all the SR+s? How about the LR's? I thought the new chemistry was for Chinese builds only.
 
A $2k bump in price with the incentive wouldn't change my mind - I'd jump at it. But I think $5k would (I'd pass on the car). Wouldn't surprise me. I'd be more surprised if they didn't.

Looking at a 2021 LR AWD. Some overlap with the OP. Not retired yet, so if I want a new toy, sooner rather than later.

Are they putting LFP batteries in all the SR+s? How about the LR's? I thought the new chemistry was for Chinese builds only.
They are planning to put LFP batteries on the SR+, not on the others since the density of LFP batteries is lower compared to NCA, so it won't fit in the Model 3 if it were to be made in LR's battery capacity.
 
A $2k bump in price with the incentive wouldn't change my mind - I'd jump at it.
I'm looking at it from the perspective of how hard I'd be kicking myself. If I buy now, new tax credit comes out and Tesla raises the price by $2,000, I wouldn't have to kick myself so hard :D

I called Tesla today to ask about getting local service and leasing. I also mentioned the tax credit. She told me that if that happens you'd probably have to wait months to get a car. I'm sure she's trained to say that to implore people to buy now, but it's probably accurate. And would also lead to price increases - you know, supply and demand kinda stuff.

She also said they expect 100s of cars coming in over the next couple of weeks for end of quarter.
 
You did due diligence by test driving a 3 and Y - or did you just sit in one? Not the same.

Your original question wasn't entirely about the credit and battery. Here's a different consideration.

I've owned Mercedes, Datsun Z, '53 Chevy, and lots of just cars. My (our) last one was/is a Honda accord LX 2007, looks great and it's still running fine. I'd kind of cooled to the latest and greatest in autos. My first impression of the Model 3 on a test drive was "Well, OK, a bit spartan". But we got it. Took me a week to get enthused wearing down the tires, then several weeks to get comfortable riding that NOA. But at this point you'd have to pry that car from my dead cold hands. It's just a joy, it's high tech, it keeps evolving, it's gorgeous, it's fast, it's super functional; there's nothing missing. Granted, I don't surf or tow horses, or sleep in cars a lot. My wife is making noises about a Y. I don't even want the roomier, froggier, Y.

Those little model updates year by year don't excite me. I you gave me a Roadster, i'd drive it madly a bit and probably sell it. The S is a boat. The X, I dunno, expensive. The 3 is very practical. I can drive it sport, or let it drive itself on the freeways, listening on the sound system and checking out the sights. There's really not a lot more I could ask for. When the first release (imperfect) street level NOA arrives, I'll be stoked, I promise I won't complain. I'm just a very satisfied Tesla Model 3 owner, like in the stats.

Maybe you're getting to the point of not caring about chasing change, I mean decades with Accords. And maybe this Model 3 will be a long time happy keeper?

No comment on the rebate or battery tech, you gotta dig your own rabbit holes on those ;)
.
 
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You did due diligence by test driving a 3 and Y - or did you just sit in one?
 

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