Tesla’s “True” Cost of Ownership

Last week Tesla Motors announced a new pseudo-lease program claiming a true cost of ownership of just $500/month. That would be considerably less than I am paying right now for a car that would be comparable to their mid range, but that low figure comes from the entry level model of course.

Unfortunately, their way of getting to that number is stretching the truth quite a bit, and the program they announced is not really a lease at all; just a relatively high interest rate car loan with a buy back guarantee. We'll get to that later though. First, I'd like go go through the calculator web site they presented to get to that figure of $500/month; I am going to use the mid range model though as I suspect that is a more realistic option (the low end model has serious range limitation as the price difference comes from cutting the battery capacity).

Here is what they estimated as my monthly cost on that vehicle, after I removed the dubious business tax allowance, but leaving the high monthly mileage and average gas price in place:

Quite a lot more than the $500/month, and quite a lot more than I am paying now.

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