Tesla Motors has partnered with USBank and Wells Fargo Bank to come up with vehicle financing and leasing products that will enable consumers to lease a Tesla Model S for an effective monthly payment of around $500, following a 10-percent down payment and calculated savings. The 10-percent down payment will usually be covered by federal and state tax credits available on electric vehicles.
It should be noted that while the actual monthly payment is $1,199, which, according to Tesla, is the equivalent cost to a gasoline-powered car would be around $543 a month for an 85-kW car, once factors like incentives and the benefit of not having to pay for gasoline and oil changes are considered.
Some of those equivalent factors are a little obscured, like a potential business-tax benefit and the value of the consumer’s time saved through driving in the carpool lane and not spent on pumping gas.
In a statement, Tesla said that when considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits and other factors, the “true net out of pocket cost” to acquire a mid-range Model S drops to less than $500 a month.
Tesla added that after 36 months, the residual value will be tied to that of a Mercedes-Benz S-class sedan, which is at 43 percent, according to ALG.
According to the carmaker, the customer is technically not leasing the Model S but is building equity over the course of a 66-month loan, with an option to walk away after 36 months with a guaranteed residual value.
A customer can also pay off the balance of the loan any time he wants. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk remarked that a customer does not have to worry about buying a car as he can trade it in after three years. He quipped that the scheme has all the convenience of a lease, but the value of ownership. He also noted that it gives a customer the right to give the car back to Tesla, but not the obligation.