Tesla Unveils Lease/Financing Deal With Some Sketchy Math

tesla-model-s-thumbEarlier this week Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled a “revolutionary” lease-to-own plan for the Tesla Model S, which aims to put the expensive EV into the hands of us regular Joes. But the math Musk uses to make his case is sketchy at best, and is really more of a tease for us Tesla gawkers than anything else. Why? Read on to find out.

Tesla Motors teamed up with Wells Fargo Bank to provide a special financing, lease-to-own deal for the Tesla Model S that effectively costs buyers anywhere between $750 and $1,100 a month. The Tesla price calculator factors in things like Federal and state EV incentives, money saved on fuel, business tax deductions, and most sketchy of all, putting a standard value of $100 per hour on your time.

Now I don’t know about you, but nobody is paying me $100 an hour to do anything. If you are making that kind of money, then do you even need help buying a Tesla Model S? Probably not. While offering financing and lease deals in an effort to expand the pool of Tesla buyers is a good idea, the method reeks of disingenuousness and CEO doubletalk.

I get it, I really do. Part of the job of a CEO is to talk up the company and make the product seem like a good deal in any way. But it also seems clear that with the discontinuation of the 40 kWh Model S that Tesla isn’t so keen on affordable EVs as they once were. Which is a shame, because if I could ACTUALLY get a Tesla EV in my driveway for around $500 a month, it might actually save me money. The reality is my out-of-pocket costs would be over $1,000 a month, which is more than I pay for my mortgage.

But no matter how I play with the calculator, that just doesn’t look like it is ever going to happen. How low can you get the costs to go?

Source: Tesla Motors

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.