Almost exactly a year ago, Tesla Motors announced what it called a "revolutionary" lease deal for the Model S. Since the electric automaker used some unusual assumptions in its calculations to get to a headline-worthy $500-a-month "true cost of ownership," the company had to quickly change its tune. Some of the same assumptions are back in a business lease deal from new subsidiary, Tesla Finance, for $408 a month (sort of) that was announced today.

Tesla is touting the easy-to-understand lease agreement, which takes all of three pages and is "written in plain language." The agreement can also be signed digitally on the car's touchscreen when the car arrives. That, plus the low cost, is the good news.

The business lease program is currently only available in ten states.

The estimated effective cost of $408 a month sure sounds great but, just as with the first consumer lease plan for the Model S, there are a lot of caveats to be aware of. For one thing, the actual monthly payment is $1,012, well over twice the $408 number. Tesla estimates that you'll save $261 a month in gasoline costs and $343 a month in business tax benefits (with Tesla calculating a 40 percent effective tax rate and 70 percent business use). Those gas savings, "are calculated assuming $0.11 per kilowatt hour compared to paying $4.90 per gallon for premium gasoline with a fuel efficiency of 20 miles per gallon," so if your business already runs a fleet of Toyota Priuses, you can forget the $408 number. Oh, and the business lease program is currently only available in ten states - CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, MA, MD, NY, TX, and WA.

Yes, that list includes Texas, where you can't officially buy a Model S. Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks told AutoblogGreen that the company has a lessor's license in the state of Texas, which allows it to offer the business leasing deal there. The dealership license, which the company can't get in Texas, is the thing that is preventing sales. No matter which of the ten business lease states you're in, the first vehicles under this program have an estimated delivery date of June 2014. Read more below.
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Tesla Business Leasing
By The Tesla Motors Team

April 8, 2014

A year ago, Tesla introduced a Resale Value Guarantee that gives customers the option to return their Model S after three years for a known value. When combined with a car loan provided by Tesla's banking partners, this program gives customers the functional equivalent of a lease – and, because they own the car, they also get the benefit of the $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit. Many of our customers have chosen to take advantage of the Resale Value Guarantee.

In the meantime, however, our customers in small and medium sized businesses have been asking for a leasing program for the ease and simplicity of being able to deduct the payments from their business taxes. We've been listening to those requests, and today we're happy to announce the launch of leasing for business owners.

Our leasing program is straightforward and transparent, and we've designed it to be user friendly. To begin with, business customers can easily see upfront their monthly cost of leasing while configuring their car on our website.

While customers have become accustomed to lease agreements that run as long as 10 pages, we found that we could say all that needed to be said in less than three pages – and it's written in plain language.

In keeping with the Tesla way of doing things, our customers can handle and sign their lease agreements completely electronically. Customers are able to view an electronic version of the lease agreement upfront before delivery. Even the signature process at delivery is simple: a one-button tap on the 17-inch touchscreen in their new Model S is all it takes.

The Tesla business lease is available through Tesla Finance, a subsidiary we've set up especially to offer this new product to business customers. The lease program completes a suite of products, including the Resale Value Guarantee and loans from our banking partners, that covers a comprehensive range of financing needs for Model S customers. These financing options, when combined with the fuel savings of Model S, provide an attractive value proposition compared to what's available for a gasoline-powered car.

The Tesla Motors Team

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The information presented on this website is based on data available at the time. Design, specifications, price, and production dates are subject to change without notice and pertain specifically to US vehicles. Some features and options may be unavailable when your vehicle enters production.

Price does not include taxes, license and title fees, or regionally required equipment, service, and charges.

The monthly cost of business leasing is calculated using the following assumptions: 36 month, 15,000 annual mile lease with a $5,000 down payment, a $700 acquisition and $300 disposition fee, a 40 business use, and gasoline savings. Gasoline savings are calculated assuming $0.11 per kilowatt hour compared to paying $4.90 per gallon for premium gasoline with a fuel efficiency of 20 miles per gallon. Business leasing is available in CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, MA, MD, NY, TX, and WA. The first month's payment, down payment, and acquisition fee are due at signing.

21-inch wheels are equipped with low-profile performance tires that provide less protection from, and are consequently more likely to suffer damage from, uneven road surfaces, debris, curbs, and other common obstacles. Damage to wheels or tires from these conditions are not covered under the Model S new vehicle limited warranty. 21-inch wheels with low-profile performance tires wear faster and reduce battery range compared to 19-inch wheels with all season tires. For best results, follow recommended tire maintenance including tire rotation. Model S does not come with a spare wheel and tire.

Rear Facing Seats are child restraint systems intended for children at least 3' 1" tall and between 35 and 77 pounds. Children should be seated upright without their head touching the roof of the car and be properly belted in at all times. It's important that you follow all provided instructions to ensure the safety of your passengers.

Performance characteristics are estimated or determined by Tesla Motors, Inc. under certain driving, operating, and environmental conditions. Actual results will vary based on your driving habits and other factors.


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