Tesla is Selling 2021 Model 3 Sedans With 2017 Battery Packs

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【Summary】The automaker’s online inventory of new and used cars now has “demo vehicles” with old battery packs listed for sale. Unbelievably, these vehicles are more expensive than ordering a new car.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Feb 01, 2022 3:00 PM PT
Tesla is Selling 2021 Model 3 Sedans With 2017 Battery Packs

Unlike a lot of automakers, Tesla lists new and used vehicles directly on its website for consumers to purchase. In an odd move, Tesla has started listing a new line of vehicles for consumers to buy. Take a look at Tesla's "Inventory" site, and you'll likely stumble upon vehicles with "Demo Vehicle" underneath the price tag. In addition to being odd because these are demo vehicles, these cars come with old battery packs from 2017, despite being sold in 2021 Model 3 sedans.

Old Batteries In New Cars

If that sounds confusing, it's because the situation really is peculiar. Tesla's Inventory site currently lists 2021 Model 3 sedans as Demo Vehicles that have old battery packs. In a 200-mile radius of zip code 93940, Tesla's site lists 14 demo vehicles for sale. The vehicles range from having less than 50 miles on the odometer up to 1,831 miles. In addition to having a disclaimer for being a Demo Vehicle, a lot of these cars also have a little disclaimer that calls out their range.

"Range figures may be up to 12% lower due to battery age," claims the warning. Clicking on the learn more link brings up a bubble with some more information on why range may be different. "This vehicle was built with a battery pack manufactured as early as 2017. While this pack was brand new when the vehicle was built, the cells have reduced capacity due to their age and you can expect up to 12% reduction in range from current production specifications."

From the sound of things, it looks like Tesla took a 2021 Model 3 body and stuffed a Long Range All-Wheel Drive battery pack from 2017 into the vehicle. No one knows why Tesla is doing this and since Tesla doesn't have a public relations team, we doubt we'll get an answer from the automaker. According to the EPA, the Model 3 Long Range in 2017 had a maximum range of 210 miles. A decrease of 12 percent means that the vehicles could have a range of around 273 miles.

Just Buy A New Model 3

One would expect these Frankenstein's monster vehicles to be affordable, or at least cheaper than a new Model 3, but that's not the case. The Demo Model 3 sedans range from $60,550 to $69,660, but not all of them have the old battery packs. A new Model 3 Long Range All-Wheel Drive trim with 335 miles of range costs $53,690. The only catch is that you have to wait until March 2022 for the new Model 3 to come.

We're really wondering why Tesla is suddenly selling these vehicles. All automakers have been hit hard by the chip shortage and we can't help but wonder if this is Tesla's way of making ends meet or by beefing up its sales. Tesla could be having trouble putting cars on dealer lots. This could be a way to fill in the gaps.

Needless to say, we think the majority of consumers will be better off by waiting for a new Model 3. Not only is it cheaper, but it also has more range and a brand-new battery pack.

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