How to Get a BMW i3 Electric Car for Just $18 a Month: Use Teslanomics

Automakers are always trying to find new ways to make their cars look cheaper to buy — and Tesla is no exception. But what happens when you take other plug-in cars and use the same Tesla logic to advertise them?

Scared off by high BMW i3 lease prices? Teslanomics will make them seem far better!

Scared off by high BMW i3 lease prices? Teslanomics will make them seem far better!

You end up with some really crazy monthly costings, like an entry-level BMW i3 for just $18 a month, or a Nissan LEAF you’re actually PAID to drive!

Enter  Teslanomics: the concept that you advertise an electric car at a price which includes all the possible savings and incentives your car is likely to attract in its lifetime.

Yesterday, we told you about Tesla’s all-new Business Lease Programme, which gives businesses across the U.S. the chance to lease a brand new Model S sedan in such a way that maximises any tax advantages, incentives and of course Tesla’s Resale Value Guarantee.

The cost? Just $408 a month for a base Model, 60 kWh Model S, after taxes and savings have been factored in.

If you’re sitting there thinking the figure is too good to be true, you might be right. You see, just like automakers like to quote prices of electric cars after any federal or state incentives have been taken into account, Tesla likes to tout its lease programs after it’s factored in the savings you’ll make not having to pay for gasoline, as well as the aforementioned purchase incentives.

Teslanomics -- the art of convincing you you need that shiny new EV

Teslanomics — the art of convincing you you need that shiny new EV

The result? A price which Tesla refers to as an “Effective Monthly Cost” for private buyers, or the “Net Business Cost” for businesses.  In the case of the former, the Effective Monthly Cost is often more than $300 less than the estimated monthly finance payment. In the case of the latter, it’s almost $600 less than the price your business will end up paying. That’s Teslanomics at work.

In its defence — and we’ve seen other companies do this too — Tesla does outline in its disclaimer the assumptions made when calculating its headline figures, such as the number of miles you’ll drive per year, your tax rate, and the alternative vehicle you’ll drive. In the case of the car, Tesla is comparing running costs between the Model S and a premium luxury sedan with a fuel economy of just 20 miles to the gallon at a price of $4.90 per gallon.

We're sorry BMW, Tesla, and the Doge Meme. We couldn't resist...

We’re sorry BMW, Tesla, and the Doge Meme. We couldn’t resist…

For the astute reader or financially shrewd buyer, Teslanomics present nothing more than a clever way to entice savvy customers to find out more. Most are of course, likely to realise the difference between Tesla’s headline pricing and the amount they’ll have to pay every month as a consequence, and may even find their own cost analysis calculations carried out before purchase mimic Tesla’s own.

Enter Peder Norby, a BMW i3 reservation holder from California. Using Teslanomics, he calculated earlier today that it’s possible to buy a BMW i3 for just $18 a month. 

We’ll let him explain.

The base BMW i3 payment for a purchase is $503 a month per the BMW website with a net zero downpayment. (after fed tax credit) The base Tesla Model S lease you will need to pay a net of $2500 to begin the lease.

Just like the Tesla lease, I’m saving $265 on gas and $220 on business tax benefits so in the Tesla spirt of marketing, and to keep things equal, BMW will soon announce that:
“The BMW i3 is available for purchase with a guaranteed value at the end of year 3 for $18 a month.”

Apply the same logic to other electric cars like the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt, Norby tells us, and it would look like you’d be getting money back every month from your lease.

As well as illustrating just how cheap it really is to own and drive an electric car, we love the fun Teslanomics could add to a morning conversation around the coffee machine at work or perhaps in the parking lot before heading home.

Just make sure the person you’re talking to understands the small print eh?


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  • vdiv

    Actually the same logic does apply, it is just that the assumed savings are lower. One has to see the big picture. That is what EVs are all about.

  • Albertico

    If nothing else I think that other automakers should use a similar strategy when advertising the running costs of their own EVs.nnnOne of the, if not the most attractive thing about EVs is the much lower cost to own and run than your traditional ICE vehicle. Electricity, at a near quarter the cost of gasoline; electric vehicles requiring no oil changes, brakes not needing replacement as much due to regenerative breaking, and more.nnnWhen you factor just those off the top first key things, savings begin to amount to the average monthly payment for your EV comparable to a similar ICE vehicle. You practically are driving the car for free.nnnIt is is easy to see how Tesla might have a point in it’s marketing strategy and others should follow suit showing the many benefits of owning an EV over an ICE vehicle.

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