Man looking up at money sign

Tesla is one of the hottest names in not just electric vehicles (EVs) but vehicles in general. As 2018 gets on its way Tesla's highly-anticipated third model, the Model 3—its most affordable model yet—is expected to see mass production at up to 5,000 vehicles per week. At the same time its two luxury models, the $74,500 Model S sedan and the $79,500 Model X crossover or SUV model, are available. It's $200,000 to $250,000 supercar, the Roadster, was announced in 2017 but won't be expected for delivery until 2020.

The introduction of the Model 3, which the company reports will have a base price as low as $35,000 and a range of at least 220 miles per charge, means Tesla's electric cars are becoming more realistic vehicles for middle-class families in the US. It's perfect timing, too. EVs across the board are becoming more affordable as competition ramps up, the costs of battery technologies come down and more consumers are interested in the benefits of EVs, like lower operating costs, and home charging in conjunction with a solar system and home energy storage systems.

By the way, the $35,000 base price doesn't include the federal $7,500 tax credit or any state tax credits. So a Model 3 could cost less than $27,500 in some states before the federal incentive runs out. In fact, all costs in this article are prior to accounting for the federal or state incentives being offered for electric cars.

But don't expect the $7,500 tax incentive plan to last for Tesla vehicles too long. The full federal IRC 30D tax credit of $7,500 is limited to the first 200,000 EVs or hybrid electric vehicles produced by an auto manufacturer for the US. Even though it was enacted by President Barack Obama in 2009 no vehicle manufacturer has hit the 200,000 mark yet. Tesla may be the first as it's already taken more than 500,000 pre-orders for the Model 3.

In October 2016, for instance, Elon Musk publicly chided his sales team for offering discounts on a factory new Tesla. "There can never -- and I mean never -- be a discount on a new car coming out of the factory in pristine condition," Musk stated in the letter. "This is why I always pay full price when I buy a car and the same applies to my family friends, celebrities, no matter how famous or influential."

Wait, Really no Bargaining?

Well, there are still some ways to get a price break on a new Tesla. Owners of Tesla's vehicles can refer others to Tesla for certain price reductions, which in the past have included $1,000 of the price or unlimited free usage of Superchargers. Another potential way to save a little cash is to see if the Tesla dealership has any vehicles that others ordered but canceled before picking them up, they might be eligible for a discount, observes a forum post on Tesla's site. The other option is to see if you can purchase a demo vehicle from the sales office or if the office has any Tesla vehicles that were delivered in a damaged or non-pristine form.

What's the difference in Tesla's performance packages?

Thus far the major delineations in Tesla's EVs are D, which stands for all-wheel drive and P, which stands for performance. After that, the models S and X are offered in 75 and 100, which relate to the kilowatt hours each battery pack can hold, 75 kWhs and 100 kWhs.

Another thing to consider about Tesla's Model S and Model X vehicles is that its network of SuperChargers offer free, fast charging for 400 kWhs each year, which Tesla says covers nearly 1,000 miles. Afterwards customers pay a small fee for charging at the fast-charge stations. Owners of the Model 3 electric cars will pay to charge their vehicles at the Superchargers. So, if considering a Model 3 getting a powerful, efficient home charger will be important. That's something that Solar-Estimate.org can help with understanding.

Tesla car prices 2018 Models and Specifications

Model2018 Base Prices Low to High *EPA-Rated Mileage per ChargeTop Speed (miles per hour)0-60 mph (in seconds)
Model 3 Standard $35,000 220 130 5.6
Model 3 Long-Range $40,000 310 140 5.1
Model S 75D $74,500 259 140 4.2
Model S 100D $94,000 335 155 4.1
Model S P100D $135,000 315 155 2.5
Model X 75D $79,500 237 130 4.9
Model X 100D $96,000 295 155 4.7
Model X P100D $140,000 289 155 2.9
Roadster $200,000 620 250+ 1.9
Roadster Founders Series $250,000 620 250+ 1.9

*Tesla does not list official prices and package options for Model 3 (as of Feb. 2018). Figures are cash prices and do not include any options.

So how much do the other Tesla cars cost?

In 2018 Tesla's most expensive vehicles are the P100D versions of the S and X. The P100D Model X has a max price of $162,200 in 2018, including a $5,500 wheel option, a $6,000 seating option, and more. The P100D Model S has a max price of $155,000 with all available options including a $4,500 wheel option, a $2,000 sunroof option, rear-facing seats, and more. In addition to having a larger battery and longer range, the 100D and P100D vehicles can also achieve much higher levels of acceleration over the base model. The Model X 75D can go from 0 to 60 miles per hours (mph) in 4.6 seconds and has an EPA range of 237 miles between charges. The Model X P100D can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and has an EPA range of 289 miles between charges.

The 75D Model S  sports car goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and has a range of 259 miles between charges. The P100D Model S is a luxury car and goes from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds and has an EPA range of 315 miles between charges.

The base price of the least expensive Model X in 2018, the 75D is $80,700. The price tag  of the least expensive Model S in 2018, the 75D is $74,500.

How much does a Tesla cost to charge?

The cost to charge a Tesla depends on the price you pay for electricity and the kilowatt hours of battery storage in the Tesla model and option pack you choose.

The national average cost of electricity is approximately 13 cents which means the Tesla cars with the 100 kwh battery capacity would cost approximately $13 to charge.

To learn more about charging, energy storage and solar options for EVs like Tesla, it's best to talk with local installers. Learn more about the reputations and prices charged by solar providers near you at www.solarreviews.com/solar-battery-reviews.