Back in 2016, Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Model 3 sedan. The headline promise was that it would be much more affordable than the existing Model S and Model X, with an eventual base price of $35,000. While the Model 3 has been a tremendous success, Tesla didn't quite hit that target until 2019 — when, in order to hit that target, they started offering a seriously stripped-down Model 3 to meet it. (And as it turns out, that $35K Model 3 is no longer available).
On the other hand, Ford, a company Elon Musk predicted would go bankrupt, will hit the $35,000 threshold off the bat with the all-new Mustang Mach E — if you live in California. According to Cars Direct, the Mach-E will be eligible for more than $11,000 worth of combined federal and state incentives in the Golden State.
The Mach-E's base price is $43,995. Ford vehicles, unlike Tesla, are still eligible to earn a $7,500 federal tax credit. The Mach E can also receive a $2,000 credit under California's Clean Vehicle Rebate (CVRP) and another $1,500 under a new clean fuel award. Those incentives bring the effective base price to just $32,995.
It's not just the Californians who'll benefit from great prices. Residents from states like Colorado and New Jersey will see similar effective base prices for the Mach-E, thanks to state tax credits and rebates. And what with the new presidential administration expected to make a push for EVs a big initiative, we could see added incentives soon. That carrot to help bring EV prices in line with gasoline vehicles is bound to be more popular than the stick of taxing polluting cars.
We should note that the Tesla Model 3 is eligible for the same $3,500 in California credits. That brings the effective price, currently starting at $37,990, below the $35,000 threshold. That said, that's still more than the base Mach E would cost. Besides, the more apt comparison may be to Tesla's Model Y crossover, which starts at just under $50,000.