Tesla Motors to offer electric car leases to businesses

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DETROIT (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. says it will begin leasing cars to small and midsize businesses.

The leases, announced in a blog posting on Tuesday, vary in cost with options on the car. Leasing a base Model S for 36 months would cost $1,012 per month with roughly $6,000 up front, according to Tesla's website. The company says the cost would be offset by $261 per month in gasoline savings and $343 in business tax deductions, for a net monthly cost of $408.

Tesla's example assumes an 11-cent-per-kilowatt hour electricity cost versus $4.90 per gallon for premium gas in a car that gets 20 miles per gallon. It also includes a 40 percent effective tax rate with the business using the car 70 percent of the time. The lease is based on 15,000 annual miles.

 

The base Model S starts at around $70,000, can travel 208 miles on a single charge and can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds. Other Teslas with longer battery range and more options start as high as $93,400.

The business leases, aimed at doctors, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents and other companies, are available through Tesla's own finance company. They will be available in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Texas and Washington, according to the website.

Companies must have a federal tax identification number to qualify, and an individual must be the co-lessee, the company said in a statement.

Tesla also offers a sale plan that guarantees the car's resale value after three years of ownership.

Tesla said the leasing plan does not change its plans to deliver more than 35,000 Model S cars this year, up 55 percent from last year.

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