A frightening parallel is a leasing program for General Motors` Ev1, an electric car for consumers that was available for leasing two decades ago, before GM abruptly ordered the return of the entire fleet without an option to buy, as the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” says. Cars have completely disappeared from the streets. The long-awaited Model 3 leasing program, which Tesla has touted as a mass-market offering, which will make electric cars mainstream, comes with a twist: the automaker won`t allow consumers to buy the vehicle at the end of the three-year period. Instead, the Silicon Valley automaker intends to absorb all the returned Model 3s to launch a fleet of robo-taxis, a network of autonomous vehicles. But those who were going to lyzed the vehicle appeared to be shorted, consumers and analysts said. More leasing is not necessarily a surprise. About 30% of new cars in the United States are rented. According to Street estimates, Tesla Leasing is as a percentage of vehicle sales at less than 20%. There are very few negatives for Tesla or any high residual value automaker. The high prices of used cars are a competitive weapon. Tesla could, for example, incorporate higher residual value assumptions into its leasing contracts, reduce payments and help it sell more cars.
Some analysts said the reduction in electric vehicle tax credits for Teslas from 7500 to 3,750 $US could be built into the leasing company`s schedule, although it has long hinted that it is considering offering the option on the Model 3. Demand issues may have prompted Tesla to offer leasing to a larger share of consumers who could afford monthly payments through direct ownership. Tesla announced earlier this month its Model 3 leasing deals as part of price changes for its vehicles. Berman said the terms of the lease agreement made it impractical, though insurance costs were the factor that ultimately discouraged him. He says he has started considering a Volkswagen e-Golf or Hyundai Kona EV. This makes leasing a Tesla a bad deal for car buyers. It is the leasing company – Tesla itself in some cases – that benefits from the high value of Tesla`s used cars because it is the one that can sell a more valuable asset when the first lease is concluded. The ability to make the car — which Tesla began offering this month on the Model 3 — would cost about $US 22,000 over 36 months, nearly 60 percent of the $37,200 operating cost, according to an offer Rey received last week from Tesla`s website.