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Trailing price hikes on new Teslas, prices on used Tesla models have soared

Prices of used Tesla electric cars have soared according to a new report from battery analysis firm Recurrent.

The averages prices of most used EV models rose dramatically in 2021 but Recurrent, which markets battery health reports for EVs, appears to connect price increases for new Tesla vehicles to the rise in used-Tesla prices.

Average prices for used Tesla EVs increased by as much as $1,000 a month over 2021, according to Recurrent. Over the same timespan, a series of price hikes saw the base price of the Model 3 increase by $8,000 between February and November 2021.

New and used Tesla prices since April 2021 - Recurrent

New and used Tesla prices since April 2021 – Recurrent

Tesla also eliminated the base Model Y Standard Range from that model’s lineup and, with other price hikes, effectively increased the base price by $17,000 to just over $60,000. That means the starting price of what is supposed to be one of Tesla’s mass-market models now tops the original base price of the Model S from 2012.

Speaking of the Model S, a reshuffling of the lineup has effectively increased the base price from around $70,000 in fall 2020 to $96,190 today, Recurrent noted. The Model X also saw a $5,000 price increase in 2021, the report said.

These price hikes, along with long wait times for new-car builds, are driving demand for used Teslas, the report argues. However, it’s worth noting that some of these changes were relatively recent, and it may be too early to judge their impact on the used-car market. Tesla itself suggested in a third-quarter 2021 earnings call that price increases were a response to supply and demand.

Production simplification for Model Y vs. Model 3 - from Tesla Q1 2020 report

Production simplification for Model Y vs. Model 3 – from Tesla Q1 2020 report

Tesla plans to ramp up production at new factories in Texas and Germany in 2022, which could help alleviate supply issues, the report noted. Base models are also expected to start switching to lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry, which could also help stabilize prices, according to Recurrent.

Tesla is already starting to deliver LFP versions of the Model 3 in North America, and a version of the Model Y is expected to follow. But prices haven’t settled to anywhere close to the $35,000 target of the original Model 3 Standard Range or the $40,200 for the original base Model Y (including destination).

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