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Here’s how to get a Tesla Model 3 for around $25k in California


While an affordable $25,000 Tesla is a dream for the world, this might not be the case for California residents. Yes, California is the state where you can purchase a Tesla Model 3 for almost $25k, the most affordable Tesla ever.

Even though the federal tax credit has already been phased out for Tesla vehicles, California still offers a good number of perks to lower down the price of a Tesla or any other electric vehicle significantly. These include tax credit programs and cash rebate schemes as well.

There are other states that offer incentives for transitioning to a zero-emissions vehicle but California seems to have taken the lead.

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When you order a Tesla Model 3, Y, S, or X from the state of California, your purchase order automatically includes a $1,500 California Clean Fuel Reward deduction (see example below) — no need to apply for this grant separately.

Copy of a Tesla Model 3 purchase order with $1,500 California Clean Fuel Reward. Credits: Ryan Shaw / YouTube (full video below). See eligible EVs for the CCFR program.

After the recent price increase, the purchase price of a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is now $38,490. After the $1,500 California Clean Fuel Reward deduction, the price goes down to $36,999 — this was only the first step, there’s more.

California residents can also apply for a $5,000 grant offered by the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program (CVAP). This program has eligibility criteria based on individual or family income. Reportedly, approval for this grant usually takes 2 to 3 months. Once you have the approval, you can bring the papers to the Tesla store for processing.

The California Clean Vehicle Assistance Program also offers a $2,000 grant for the installation of charging infrastructure at your home. So this makes a total CA Grant of $7,000 for eligible applicants.

Bay Area residents have another option called the Clean Cars For All program. If this grant is stacked with the above $7k grant, the max of $9,500 rebate can be availed.

This is not the end of Cali perks, there’s another grant named the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), and luckily, Tesla Model Y and Model 3 both are on the eligible vehicle list. This is an additional $2,000 rebate for which you can apply online. When approved, you’ll get a check of $2,000 in your mailbox — simple and straight.

The CVRP grant also offers an additional $2,500 rebate for low and moderate-income households in the San Joaquin Valley and San Diego County. The CVRP website shows the following notice for applicants:

The option to get preapproved through Rebate Now is currently available for increased rebates to low and moderate-income residents in San Diego County and the counties that make up the San Joaquin Valley who have not yet purchased or leased their vehicle.

Source: California CVRP website

The following table shows a complete break-up of these grants to make sense:

GrantValue ($)
CA Clean Fuel Reward$1,500
CA Clean Vehicle Assistance$7,000
CA Clean Vehicle Assistance (Bay Area)$9,500
CA Clean Vehicle Rebate Project$2,000
CA Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (San Joaquin / San Diego)$4,500
Total (non-Bay Area)$10,500
Total (Bay Area or San Joaquin & San Diego)$13,000

Model 3 Standard Range Plus cost after grants and rebates

Bay Area$38,450 – $13,000 = $25,450
San Joaquin / San Diego Counties$38,450 – $13,000 = $25,450
Non-Bay Area residents$38,450 – $10,500 = $27,950
Update: Tesla has increased prices once again, values adjusted based on new prices.

If President Biden’s $174B electric vehicle incentives program brings back the $7,500 federal tax credit to Tesla, the cost of an SR+ Model 3 can go down under $18k.

If the rumors of the Biden administration increasing the federal EV tax credit to $10,000 are proved to be right, Tesla Model 3 and even Model Y will insanely become more affordable.

With the current lowest cost of $25,450, assuming all rebates and rewards are availed, a Tesla Model 3 SR+ price in California becomes very close to a 2021 Honda Accord.

Price parity with ICE cars is going to make EVs more desirable, and Teslas even more.

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii