Tesla Model 3 Could Cost as Little as a Prius in California After Incentives

Buyers in California are eligible for $10,000 in state and federal incentives.

byRob Stumpf|
Tesla Model 3 Could Cost as Little as a Prius in California After Incentives

The U.S. government wants to pay you for buying an electric car. If you live in California, the state government is all but jumping through hoops to push you towards battery-powered vehicles. For many, this incentive helps push them to bite the bullet. Thanks to some recent changes in California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), the purchase of a brand new Tesla Model 3 will cost as little as a Toyota Prius.

Tesla hopes to revolutionize the mass-produced electric car industry using the Model 3 as proof that battery-powered vehicles can succeed in today's world. Priced at just $35,000, the Model 3 is far from the cost of the Model S, making it an affordable entry to the EV market for most people. Where the Model 3 really begins to shine is that it becomes even cheaper when one considers the federal and state incentives that are being offered to new buyers— especially Californians.

Let's talk about California first. One of the most strict states in the U.S. when it comes to pollution, California is looking to lead the way in cleaning the air, literally. Not only does California represent the majority of EVs on the road today, but it also invests a serious amount of cash into its budgets to promote the electrification of cars on the road. One of the ways this is accomplished is by promoting the affordability of EVs through a traditional rebate program called California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), which is administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). CVRP will provide you with a rebate which will vary in value depending on what electric car you buy. On Wednesday, CVRP added the Tesla Model S to the approved list of EVs. Buy one and you'll get a nice check for up to $2,500, assuming you meet its other qualifications.

via CVRP

Next, there's the traditional federal tax credit for up to $7,500. Though this isn't a rebate, you do get a credit for up to $7,500 for any remaining taxes at the end of the year. If you under-pay or are self-employed, this could greatly benefit you. The caveat to this method is that only the first 200,000 buyers will get this refund before the government begins to phase it out for Tesla, just as it plans for other brands.

Owning an EV is becoming very affordable. With options such as the Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3, and the various upcoming models from other manufacturers, more and more people will begin to electrify their vehicles—but only the early buyers stand to pay the least.