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Electric supercar Tesla can be yours 'for just $500 a month'


By Noel Young, Correspondent

April 3, 2013 | 3 min read

Drive a Tesla, the electric supercar ,for just $500 or so out of pocket a month! Yesterday the Calfornia car maker offered leases on its electric cars, seemingly bringing them within the grasp of the (well-heeled) average Joe.

Tesla Model S : No more gas stations!

Mind you to get to that $500 figure you have to jump through quite a few hoops.

"When considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits and other factors, the true net out of pocket cost to own a mid-range Model S drops to less than $500 per month," Tesla said in a news release. The starting figure is $1199 - then you work your way down.

First, Tesla has arranged with U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo to offer leases letting customers put the value of federal and state electric-car tax credits- from $7,500 to $15,000 - towards the down payment.

Tesla said customers with good credit could put 10% down on a Tesla Model S that costs about $80,000 and drive it for the $1,199 a month out of pocket for up to 66 months.

A calculator on Tesla's website shows that avoiding petrol costs and adding in business tax deductions would lower the $1,199 monthly cost for its more expensive model, with a 265-mile government certified range, to about $543 a month.

That figure includes about $100 a month for not going to a petrol station to fill up, time Tesla values at $100 an hour, said the Wall Street Journal.

Tesla will also take back its cars at the end of the lease. It is guaranteeing Model S customers they'll receive a trade-in value equivalent to that of a Mercedes-Benz S-class sedan.

Chief Executive Elon Musk "is personally standing behind that guarantee to give customers absolute peace of mind about the value of the asset they are purchasing,"said the company .

Tesla shares rose more than 16% on Monday after it said it would turn a solid profit for the first quarter.

However, Tesla will soon face plug-in luxury cars from rivals, including Germany's BMW and Daimler Volkswagen . Another big name in the frame is Cadillac - which plans to launch a luxury car with plug-in hybrid technology similar to the Chevrolet Volt.

Less than a month ago, Tesla shares were just over $35 a share.The company was in the news with a dispute between Musk and a car writer at the New York Times who criticisied of the Model S's cold weather driving range.

Since then,Tesla shares have risen to more than $45.

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