Rising prices and long delays: is it still worth spending big on a Tesla?

Drivers keen to buy a Tesla face huge delays and higher prices to get their hands on a car, after the company said it would not be able to avoid inflation and supply chain pressures. 

Higher prices for Tesla vehicles helped the American firm make record profits of close to $19bn (£14.5bn) in the first quarter of the year. A record 310,000 cars sold in just three months, up from fewer than 185,000 the same time last year. 

But in an update to shareholders the company said that supply chain challenges “remained persistent”. It said global microchip shortages and the lingering impact of the pandemic have weighed on factory operations, adding to wait times for consumers.

So is it worth waiting and paying extra for a Tesla, or are there better alternatives to the cultish car?

How long will supply issues last? 

Tesla has said it will ramp up its manufacturing, despite the pressure on its production lines, hoping to ultimately deliver 50pc annual growth in vehicle deliveries. 

However, it conceded factory pressures would likely continue for the rest of 2022, with wait times for some customer orders likely to exceed 12 months. 

Is it worth the expense? 

Teslas have always come with a hefty price tag of around £40,000 to £70,000, depending on model, and now they cost even more. This is in part due to rising costs of materials, such as nickel which is used in batteries.

They have recently risen in price by roughly £1,500 for more basic models to close to £4,000 for a higher spec car. That means a Model 3 now costs around £42,500, while a long-range model Y costs in the region of £55,000. The Model S is as much as £74,000. 

Investing in a Tesla doesn’t mean that you can be rid of “range anxiety”. But the vehicles are well known for having more range than rival electric cars. The Model S has an estimated range of 396 miles, and the Model Y will go for 331 miles between charges. 

Tesla drivers in Britain benefit from their own network of around 300 Tesla charging stations, known as the “supercharge network”. They are mostly found at motorway service stations and will provide 172 miles of range in just 15 minutes, according to the firm.

They are known for being particularly fast, plentiful and easy to use, with the payment automatically charged to your Tesla account. At a public supercharger, a Model 3 charging up to 80pc will cost £21 to £26. 

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