the Audi E-Tron GT he’s finally here, and he’s going to start a friendly rivalry with his distant stablemate, the Porsche taycan. But I can’t help but think that the real winner in all of this is not the Volkswagen Group. Their Tesla.
And it’s less about the Model S suddenly becoming a less formidable competitor, even against automakers tasked with building blazing fast cars, and more about Tesla’s relative affordability. Model 3.
Because the model is the electric vehicle that most American drivers can buy.
We’re full load ahead on EVs, but so far the EVs that are making waves are halo EVs like the Taycan, E-Tron, and until recently the Model S. Those three cars start at around $ 80,000 and easily go to six figures.
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Meanwhile, the entry-level Model 3 starts at around $ 38,000, less than the average transaction price for a new car in 2020, according to KBB. That’s still a lot of money, but not enough to get the BEV out of business for many buyers. It doesn’t matter that there are similarly priced electric vehicles like the Bolt, Leaf or Mach-E. Those don’t have the kind of mass market follow-up or exposure that Teslas does, for better or for worse.
Tesla’s ubiquity isn’t always good; The automaker and its umm, eccentric leader can be the butt of a joke sometimes, but joke or not, drivers know Tesla. Your Model 3 did not meet the promise of the affordable EV, but Tesla is in a position to develop that car so that its quality can match its price.
Tesla might even find itself in a position to offer a truly affordable EV that would start at $ 25,000, maybe. Not many other companies can say that. It is possible that big automakers could take the fight to Tesla using federal tax credits; let’s see how things move in the near future on that front.
But for now Tesla finds itself in an enviable position as an electric car maker. Meanwhile, Porsche and Audi give each other a pat on the back for being makers of what could well be electric. super cars.