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From the mailbag

Model 3 delivery time and cost, and charging stations

I've decided to respond to emails I get from site visitors (thank you for writing!), here on the blog. Every week or so, I'll share the question and answers, and also invite comments from folks who have more information and might be able to help others out.

This week, Donna writes:

I put a deposit on a Model 3 about 8 months ago. What is a realistic expectation for delivery on East Coast? Will the cost of the vehicle be close to advertised? Any input about advantages or disadvantages of installing a home charging station as being cost effective? - Donna

Model 3 delivery date

Hi Donna,

Millions of users are as excited as you are about the Model 3. It promises to be the most stylish and complete electric vehicle for under $50,000. There's been a lot of discussion this past week about the Model 3, not in small part because Elon Musk recently teased a video of a release candidate.

No one knows the true delivery schedule, but that doesn't stop folks from trying, like this Morgan Stanley analyst. The upside is that you got your reservation in early; the downside is that you're on the East Coast, and Elon has stated that Tesla will ship first to customers near it's Fremont HQ.

If you really wanted a Model 3 sooner, you could see if a relative or friend in Northern California would be willing to purchase one on your behalf. Model 3 reservations are generally not transferrable, but during Day One of Model 3 reservations, a sales rep at my local Tesla store said that it could be transferred to a family member.

However, I wouldn't recommend this, since there are likely to be a number of kinks to work out, which will likely require some involvement with Tesla Fremont.

Anyhow, since everyone else is taking a stab at when the Model 3 will reach the East Coast, I'll go ahead and venture a guess as well: 2018 Q2.

Model 3 cost

The same analysts also forecast that the average selling price of the Model 3, at least early on, will be $60,000. This might be possible if you order a higher trim; but Elon has repeatedly gone on record saying that you'll be able to get a Model 3 for $35,000 before any applicable tax credits. He's had plenty of opportunity to change his tune. Given how far along Tesla is and that he hasn't reset expectations, I'd expect the base price to start at $35,000.

Installing a home charging station

The price of purchasing and installing a home charger, or EVSE, has fallen by about half over the past 5-6 years. Before, there were limited options for chargers, and few electricians had experience installing them. Now, in most areas, you generally have pretty good options on both sides. Here in Northern California, you might pay $500-600 for a charger, and about the same amount for installation, depending on the location of the charger and what your wiring is like.

As to cost effectiveness, I think the simplest answer is that it depends on how you use your car.  Generally, if you're driving fewer than 30 miles a day, you might be ok with charging from a regular 110V outlet, since you can get about that much charge in 8 hours.

Personally, however, I recommend putting in a home charger.  It gives you more options with how you can use your car; for instance, if you want to drive further to go on a hiking trip, or have an emergency.  And if you get a reliable charger like one from Clipper Creek, it can last you years and maybe even be a nice perk if you sell your home.

Ok, that's it for my inaugural "From the mailbag" post. Readers, please add comments if I got anything wrong or you have more info to help Donna out. Good luck, Donna!


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