Tesla is dominating another sector of the auto industry

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is bringing a new approach to buying a used car
Tesla is bringing a new approach to buying a used car
Tesla

Tesla's used car division is transforming how people buy vehicles, and they are not resorting to “wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men” to do so. Tesla’s Director of Sales and Delivery Operations, Jimmy Douglas, told Electrek that he doesn’t need the attention-grabbing inflatables to beat the online used car giants.

Tesla seemingly stumbled into a brilliant plan to sell its used cars. In 2019, the electric vehicle trailblazer announced that it would not allow people who leased their Model 3s to sell them after; instead, the vehicle must be returned to the dealership. The original plan was to retrofit these previously loved cars to become the RoboTaxi. The RoboTaxi program, a fully autonomous vehicle that would take over the ridesharing sector, is still under development, so now Tesla has thousands of cars coming back to the lot.

The timing could not be more ideal. The demand for EVs has never been higher. However, some prospective buyers get sticker shock when shopping for electric vehicles, including the biggest name in the sector. A simple solution is to buy used. Used vehicle sales topped 40 million in the United States alone in 2021, compared to 15 million new vehicles.

Nevertheless, there is still the longstanding stereotype of the sleazy, used car salesperson pushing a shiny lemon at unsuspecting shoppers. That is certainly not the case with Tesla. Instead, the used car sales run similarly to the new car buying experience.

Douglas said to Electrek, “Most people don’t realize that Tesla runs its own vertically-integrated, nationwide online used car retailer. It’s as big as some publicly traded used car retailers you’ve definitely heard of, despite no Super Bowl commercials.” It can only be assumed he is referring to Carvana, which launched its Over Sharing Mom commercial during the 2022 Super Bowl. The used car company is valued at $4.69 billion.

Tesla does not have a line item showing how much its used car division is worth. That section of the company falls under Services and Other; on the most recent filing with the SEC, that number is $1.4 billion.

While it is not Carvana’s value, it is still a big chunk of change, especially because Tesla has recently stopped lessees from selling any of its products at the end of the term. That means a never-ending supply of used cars will be returned to the dealership.

In addition, the company is preparing for growth in this division. A recently posted job at Tesla reads: “Would you like to be part of a team transforming the way people buy a car?” Douglas is hiring an associate manager of used car quality. The posting continues, “As a leader in Tesla’s Used Car business, you are responsible for the development of the refurbishment process and managing daily refurbishment operations.”

Perhaps the used car division will get more respect in the future at Tesla and not be lumped into the 'other' category. That category has grown by 50 percent since last year. At this pace, used cars deserve a line of their own.

Growing Interest in Electric Trucks Among Drivers, but Tesla Cybertruck Faces Skepticism

By Kevin Armstrong
Electric truck survey was completed by AmericanTrucks.com
Electric truck survey was completed by AmericanTrucks.com
AmericanTrucks.com

Oh, the irony! American truck drivers are all revved up for electric trucks, yet they can't wrap their heads around the idea that the Tesla Cybertruck is a "real" truck. Sounds like a classic case of a truck identity crisis!

A recent survey by American Trucks delved into the opinions of truck drivers in the United States about electric trucks, revealing a sizable number of them are considering going electric. However, an interesting finding from the survey is that many truck drivers don't see the Tesla Cybertruck as a "real" truck.

The survey aimed to gauge the excitement around electric pickup trucks and understand the preferences of both truck owners and non-truck owners. Electric vehicles have been gaining popularity, but electric pickup trucks have taken longer to enter the market. With more models becoming available, American Trucks sought to identify which ones generate the most interest.

Truck Drivers are Ready for Electric

According to the survey's results, 35% of truck drivers are thinking about transitioning to electric trucks within the next decade, with most planning to do so within the next five years. The electric pickup models that have captured their attention include the Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertruck, Chevrolet Silverado EV, Toyota Tacoma EV, Rivian R1T, GMC Sierra EV, and Canoo Pickup Truck.

Drivers' slower adoption of electric trucks can be attributed to valid concerns. While range anxiety is becoming less of an issue for most passenger vehicles, it is still significant for truck drivers who use their vehicles for heavy-duty tasks like towing. Electric trucks' range can be affected under these conditions, leading to driver hesitancy.

Cybertruck Gets the Attention

Interestingly, when the survey shifted its focus to non-truck drivers, the Tesla Cybertruck emerged as the most anticipated electric pickup. This finding suggests a difference in perception between truck drivers and the general public, who might be more attracted to Cybertruck's futuristic design and unique features.

Despite the Cybertruck's popularity among non-truck drivers, 56% of the truck drivers surveyed don't believe it is a "real" truck. The reasons for this perception remain unclear, but it could be due to the unconventional design, the vehicle's specifications, or other factors that might not align with traditional truck drivers' expectations.

Electric truck survey was completed by AmericanTrucks.com
Electric truck survey was completed by AmericanTrucks.com
AmericanTrucks.com

Production Concerns

Tesla has announced plans to begin Cybertruck production this summer, but many truck drivers surveyed believe it will be at least two years before it becomes widely available. Their skepticism might also be influenced by Tesla's track record of production delays and the fact that there are already around a million reservations for the Cybertruck.

Truck drivers are seeking longer ranges, increased availability of charging stations, and faster charging times before they fully commit to switching to electric trucks. These factors play a crucial role in ensuring that electric trucks can be effectively used for work purposes, just as their gasoline-powered counterparts have been for years. It will be interesting to see how perceptions change and whether the Tesla Cybertruck can eventually win over the hearts of traditional truck drivers.

We recently covered how the Cybertruck is expected to have an 18.5" screen, rear-wheel steering and 18" wheels.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range Price Appears on Tesla's Website: Is It Set to Make a Comeback?

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's Model 3 Long Range may be set to make a comeback
Tesla's Model 3 Long Range may be set to make a comeback
Not a Tesla App

Tesla halted production of the immensely popular Model 3 Long Range last summer due to an overwhelming backlog of orders extending well into 2023. This move left customers with only the base, rear-wheel drive version and much more expensive performance version of the Model 3 available for purchase.

However, recent developments suggest that Tesla might soon begin accepting orders for the Model 3 Long Range once again. One of our readers, Jake Bercic, pointed out that the price of the Long Range Model 3 has appeared on a Canadian Tesla support page. The price appears among other Tesla models, which all reflect current pricing.

Update: It looks like Tesla has kept the Model 3 Long Range model on this support page, and they updated the pricing in January 2023.

The prices displayed on the Canadian support page for the Long Range Model 3 are:

Rear wheel drive: $54,990 CAD (this version in the US: $42,990)

Dual motor Long Range: $67,990 CAD (equal to approximately $49,700 USD)

Performance: $72,990 CAD (this version in the US: $53,990)

Project Highland and New Price

The possible return of the Model 3 Long Range comes amidst speculation of Tesla's Project Highland - the refreshed Model 3. We recently uncovered more details about Project Highland. The possible reintroduction of the Model 3 Long Range, coupled with Project Highland, could signal a new chapter in Tesla's EV dominance. By bringing back a highly sought-after model and potentially introducing a new and improved version, Tesla continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation and meeting the increasing demand for electric vehicles.

The possible reintroduction of the Model 3 Long Range, coupled with Project Highland, could signal a new chapter in Tesla's EV dominance. By bringing back a highly sought-after model and potentially introducing a new and improved version, Tesla continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation and meeting the increasing demand for electric vehicles.

Tax Credits

This development is particularly noteworthy, as the Model 3 Long Range's previous price of $57,990 USD, made it ineligible for the new US tax credit for electric cars. With the new regulation, a price cap of $55,000 applies to passenger car models, and $80,000 for SUVs and pickups. That means all Model 3's are eligible for the $7,500 tax credit.

The halt in Model 3 Long Range production came after Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned about potential order freezes due to a sharp increase in demand for electric cars in several regions of the United States. Musk had stated that once Tesla increased production, the model variant would return to the market. Now, it seems that the time for its return might be near.

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