The new Model 3 by Tesla. Image:

INTERNATIONAL – Tesla has increased the price for its new Model 3 sedan launched last week by $1,000 to $46,000 (R666,000), according to the company’s website.

The electric carmaker surprised markets by launching the new model on Oct. 18 in a move that came as US tax breaks for Tesla cars are about to decrease.

Tesla is scheduled to report quarterly results after market close on Wednesday.

Previsouly the car was priced at $45 000 (R654 000)  and the rear-wheel-drive model has a “mid-range” battery, a range of 260 miles, 50 miles less than the long-range battery that the more expensive Model 3 is equipped with.

The new version has a delivery period of six to 10 weeks, according to the website, which would customers eligible for the current $7 500 US tax credit if they take delivery by the end of the year. The tax credit for Tesla cars will drop by half on January 1.