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The Tesla Model 3 is Tesla’s most affordable model. However, with a base price of $44,990, it’s still too expensive for most car buyers. However, if you’re hoping for a cheap Model 3, your desire could be fulfilled. Tesla sells 2021 Model 3 demo cars at a reduced price.

2021 Tesla Model 3 demo cars with 4-year-old degraded battery packs for sale

Passenger's side front angle view of white 2021 Tesla Model 3
2021 Tesla Model 3 | Tesla

On its website, Tesla has a has section for the sale of 2021 Tesla Model 3 demo cars, as reported by Jalopnik. The folks at Jalopnik learned about this after a reader emailed the site. He discovered many Model 3s for sale all over the U.S, including in Denver, Portland, Los Angeles, Miami, and Honolulu. These cars are priced lower than other 2021 Model 3s.

However, there’s a catch. At the bottom of the website page is a disclaimer that says, “Range figures may be up to 12% lower due to battery age.” Next to that, there’s a “Learn More” link. After clicking on the link, a pop-up window opens with another disclaimer: 

“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.”

– Tesla

Why is Tesla selling Model 3 vehicles with a 4-year-old battery pack?

It’s not clear why Telsa is selling Model 3 vehicles with a 4-year-old battery pack. Even though the Model 3s are listed as demo cars, why use a battery pack from 2017 in a 2021 Model 3? 

Also, another confusing aspect of the disclaimer is the part that says, “While this pack was brand new when the vehicle was built, the cells have reduced capacity due to their age.” If the battery pack was brand new when the vehicle was built, then what vehicle is Tesla referring to in the disclaimer? A 2017 Model 3 or a 2021 Model 3? If the battery pack is from a 2017 Model 3, then is Tesla listing a 2021 Model 3 for sale that’s actually from 2017?

Jalopnik reached out to Tesla for clarification about the 2021 Model 3 demo cars for sale. However, unsurprisingly, they didn’t hear back from Tesla. The EV automaker doesn’t have an official media department and is notoriously difficult to reach for comment. 

Are removable battery packs a viable option for Teslas and other EVs?

Compared to gas-powered cars, electric vehicles have the potential for greater longevity. This is especially the case for EV drivetrains, for they have fewer moving parts that can deteriorate. However, the one thing holding electric cars back is the battery packs, which can degrade over time. While battery packs are considerably better than they were 10 years ago, they are still a limiting factor.

An alternative is a removable car battery. When a battery degrades, you can just replace it with a new one. Also, it could solve the problem of “range anxiety,” for if you run out of battery power, you could swap out one car battery with another. The technology for a removable car battery is not to the point yet in which it’s a practical reality, though.

So, if you want a cheap 2021 Tesla Model 3, you can get one for sale on the Tesla website. However, you’re likely taking a risk, for you may not know exactly what you’re getting with the 4-year-old degraded battery pack.


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