Tesla Model 3 prices fall in China once again

The Model 3 keeps getting cheaper in China.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

For the third time this year, the Tesla Model 3 received a price cut in China. Reuters reported the price change on Thursday and the automaker’s Chinese site reflects the new prices. Chinese shoppers will find the Model 3 now costs 249,900 yuan, or roughly $36,800 at current exchange rates. The new price is down about 8% after Tesla slashed the electric car’s price again.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why it cut prices, but all information points to the inclusion of a new cobalt-free battery. This week, we heard the automaker was poised to introduce a new lithium-iron phosphate battery that excludes cobalt, a rare-earth mineral, making them cheaper. In turn, the company could sell the Model 3 at a lower cost. Tesla does not mention a new battery on its site, however.

Tesla’s prices change frequently in China as the government continues to pull back incentives for buyers to purchase “new-energy vehicles.” The prices Tesla lists on its website include the generous incentives, though as the government phases the subsidies out, Tesla will need to compete on its own with a plethora of new EVs on the horizon. We’ve already seen one EV in China on sale for just $4,200 with the incentives.

As for the new battery, rumors have long pointed to the possibility the cobalt-free battery will be exclusive to China, at least for now. Tesla held its Battery Day event last week, which previewed other breakthroughs the automaker wants to implement in the next few years. With cheaper, more energy-dense batteries, CEO Elon Musk reiterated his hopes for a $25,000 Tesla in the next three years.

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