In an effort to make the Model S more affordable, Tesla announced a new deal with US bank to offer more favorable lease terms. This has lowered the lease cost of the electric sedan by as much as 25%, and this new lease now comes with a “happiness guarantee” that lets leases return the car after three months if they’re not totally satisfied.
Once again Tesla sets the bar for trying to make its customers happy, and the deal with US Bank probably means less money in Tesla’s pockets, but the lower price may have just put the Model S in some people’s price range. Now you can get into a 60 kWh Model S for just $832 ($895 is you opt for the new Dual Motor Drive all-wheel drive system) and about $6,500 down. If you end up saving $209 a month in gasoline costs (per the Tesla estimate) that brings your “effective” lease price down to just $686 a month. For an 85 kWh Model S the price is $980 a month for rear-wheel drive, and $1,044 a month for the Dual Motor Drive system, before gas savings. A new lease deal in the U.K. was also just announced by Tesla in a bid to remain competitive with traditional luxury automakers.
The initial cost of a Model S lease was about $1,021 with $5,000, so the 25% cost savings claim is all in how you define it I guess. Elon Musk loves him some funky math, and depending on how much and where you do most of your driving, it COULD all work out. But I’m not going to try and be a too much of a mathematician about it.
Additionally, customers now have a three-month window to decide just how satisfied they are with their Model S purchase, and before that 90 days is over they can return their vehicle and walk away from the rest of their lease obligation. The only catch is that customers can’t sign a new lease deal right away, unless they decide to upgrade, which customers have to then pay a “pass through fee” based on difference between the new and used vehicles. Add to that an available “infinite mile warranty” on the drive unit of the 85 kWh Model S (the 60 kWh gets a 125,000 mile/8-year battery and drive unit warranty) and you can see how Tesla is going to great lengths to make sure they have happy customers.
Once the first wave of used Model S sedans make it to market, the cost of getting into this cutting-edge electric sedan should come down even further. With the newer, lower-cost lease price, is anybody ready to add a Model S to their garage?