Tesla raises prices on materials costs


Electric car leader Tesla is raising prices.

“(Tesla) prices now start at $46,990 for the base Model 3, $2,000 higher than before,” writes Mariella Moon at Engadget. “The Model 3 Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive is now $2,500 more expensive at $54,490, and the Performance version now costs $3,000 more at $61,990. Meanwhile, Model Y’s prices now start at $62,990, or $2,000 higher than before, for the Long Range version. Tesla has increased the Performance version’s pricing by $3,000, as well, which means it’ll now set you back $67,990. For both Model S options, Tesla has added $5,000 on top of their previous prices, so you’ll have to spend at least $99,990 for one. None of the other EVs got a price increase as big as the Model X, though, which now costs $10,000 more at $114,990.”

Moon reports that Tesla leader Elon Musk had warned buyers their prices may be going up based on the cost of raw materials.

So what’s driving the outsized costs?

As a commodity, nickel is getting more expensive as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.

And that’s only one of several desirable metals put into Tesla alloys.

“The Tesla Model S body and chassis are built almost entirely from aluminum, which comes from bauxite ore,” writes Jeff Desjardins at the Visual Capitalist. “Aluminum is lightweight, which helps to maximize the range of the battery beyond that of other EVs. … High-strength boron steel is used to reinforce the aluminum at critical safety points. Boron steel is made from iron, boron, coking coal, and other additives. The underbody of the Tesla Model S is made from ultra high-strength titanium, which protects the battery from nearly any roadside force or piercing.”

There’s also the rare earth metals put into electronic components – and leather for seating.

Desjardins provides a breakdown on battery materials:

“The battery itself contains 7,104 lithium-ion battery cells,” he writes. “The Tesla Model S battery cathode uses an NCA formulation with the approximate ratio: 80% nickel, 15% cobalt, and 5% aluminum. Small amounts of lithium are also used in the cathode. The negative terminal uses natural or synthetic graphite to hold lithium ions. Small amounts of silicon are also likely used in the anode as well. The electrolyte is made of a lithium salt.”

As for stock price, Tesla is trending around $760, down about 15% over a month, and leaning down toward year-over-year prices after going as high as nearly $1200 in December.

The five year chart, meanwhile, shows how Tesla boomed some 800% over the last few years, enriching many early shareholders.

What’s next for the EV kingpin? Will its materials costs, pushing up prices, drive down sales?