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Tesla drops starting price of Model Y below the cost of the average U.S. vehicle

Tesla has dropped the starting price of its Model Y, and now the mid-size SUV costs $759 less than the average new car or truck in the U.S. The Model Y, the top-selling electric vehicle in the U.S. in 2022, now starts at $46,990, according to Bloomberg

The cost of the Model Y was first dropped in January amid slowing sales and drops in Tesla's stock price, making both its all-wheel and long-range drives eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles.

Tesla Inc.'s German Gigafactory Ahead of Earnings
Tesla Model Y electric vehicles in a lot at the Tesla Inc. Gigafactory in Gruenheide, Germany, on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.  Liesa Johannssen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This move comes after Tesla — of whom Elon Musk is the company's largest individual shareholder — lowered prices on its Model X and Model S vehicles in March. Tesla also reduced the base price of the Model 3, its least expensive model, by about 6% in January.

While overall electric vehicle sales are rising, Tesla's U.S. market share is falling. From 2018 through 2020, Tesla represented about 80% of the electric vehicle market, but by 2021, that figure had dropped to 71%, according to registration data from S&P. Still, Tesla's U.S. sales rose 40% last year. 

In recent surveys, 4 in 10 U.S. adults now say their next vehicle may be electric, according to polling by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

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