Tesla has been told by the German industry association for fair competition practice to stop listing Model 3 prices after incentive and gas savings in Germany by March 20.
Should Tesla do it globally?
The association in question, Wettbewerbszentrale, took an issue with Tesla including gas savings over time into the displayed sticker price.
They wrote to the automaker (via Reuters):
“Even if ‘savings’ could be realized, such an amount cannot be deducted from the purchase price or the monthly rate … because customers must pay the full price at the time of purchase or financing,”
Tesla has reportedly agreed to stop using the tactic in Germany by March 20 – Wettbewerbszentrale’s deadline.
The automaker has used this somewhat controversial way of displaying prices on its website on and off for years.
After some complaints, Tesla stopped using it for a while but the company brought it back last year.
On the actual options that you can select when configuring a vehicle, Tesla is listing prices with an asterisk next to them.
You have to look at the bottom left to see the price that you will actually have to pay, which is listed as “before savings.”
Also, if you want to see how Tesla is arriving at that “after savings” price, you need to scroll all the way down the list of options and click on “learn more”:
While I like that Tesla is telling buyers about potential gas savings, which I think should be factored in the EV buying decision, I have to agree with the German group that it can be misleading.
I think that it shouldn’t be the first price you see on the configurator and certainly not the most emphasized one.
In my opinion, Tesla should always prominently list the price that you will actually have to pay and after that, you can break down potential savings – both from gas and incentives, which can vary based on different factors for different customers.
For its methodology, Tesla is using a fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon which the company says is based on “a comparable gasoline powered sedan, for example, the 2017 BMW 3 series.”
They are also using the national average of “$0.13 per kilowatt-hour for electricity and $2.85 per gallon for premium gasoline over the next six years.”
Those are way too many assumptions. I don’t think this profile would fit the majority of customers.
But again, I think buyers should still take into account potential gas savings. I just think that putting a one-size fit all number like that is misleading. Some sort of calculator would probably be more appropriate.
There are just way too many variables that could be widely different for any individual here.
What do you think?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.