Making the Right Choice: Used vs New Tesla Model 3 - Tax Credit, Battery Life and More

Making the Right Choice: Used vs New Tesla Model 3 - Tax Credit, Battery Life and More
EV tax credits 2023: Which models are eligible for up to $7,500 in tax credits? | CNN Business

Section 1: The Dilemma of Choosing Between a Used and New Tesla Model 3

The excitement of purchasing a Tesla Model 3 Long Range can be both thrilling and overwhelming, especially when faced with the decision between buying a used model or opting for a brand new one. A recent conversation among electric vehicle enthusiasts highlighted this very dilemma. One individual was ready to buy a used 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range from a local dealership but stumbled upon news that Tesla had opened up orders for the 2023 Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor with LFP batteries. This revelation made them reconsider their decision.

LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries are known for being less energy dense than other types of lithium-ion batteries, but they have the advantage of tolerating daily charging to 100% without significant degradation. With only a $3,000 price difference between the used and new models, it seemed like a no-brainer to opt for the new car with its fresh battery, full warranty, and updated features.

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Understanding Tax Credits and Battery Degradation

One aspect that can influence the decision to purchase an electric vehicle is the availability of tax credits. In this case, confusion arose around whether buying a 2022 Bolt would impact the ability to claim tax credit for the year. It turns out that there is a Credit for Previously-Owned Clean Vehicles which can be claimed once every three years. However, certain conditions must be met such as income limits, sale price restrictions, and dealer requirements.

Regarding battery degradation, there was some misunderstanding about how charging habits affect battery life in Tesla vehicles. Charging to 100% on a daily basis may accelerate degradation to the 10% point, but it's believed that it holds steady after that. Essentially, owners trade off faster initial degradation for a more accurate Guess-O-Meter (G.O.M.). Some owners choose to charge their vehicles to 80-90% and occasionally charge to 100% in order to maintain battery management system (BMS) accuracy.

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The Mystery of Tesla's Battery Chemistry

Tesla's secretive approach to its battery chemistry has left some consumers feeling uneasy. Many believe that basic information about the size and chemistry of the batteries should be disclosed, especially since it plays a significant role in the vehicle's performance. However, there is a reason behind Tesla's silence on this matter.

The company constantly introduces changes to its cars, including the battery. If they were to provide detailed information about their batteries on their ordering page, any subsequent changes could expose them to potential lawsuits. Instead, Tesla offers an EPA range as a substitute metric for "basic size," while assuring customers that the "basic chemistry" remains lithium-ion.

In conclusion, deciding between a used and new Tesla Model 3 Long Range can be challenging, but understanding factors such as tax credits, battery degradation, and Tesla's approach to disclosing battery information can help make the decision-making process smoother. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preferences and priorities when choosing which model best suits one's needs and budget.