Tesla doesn’t do incentives like most automakers do, but that doesn’t mean that Tesla doesn’t play games with the prices of its cars. Because it does that plenty, and usually by surprise, and usually for reasons only known to Tesla.

The latest was this week, when Tesla upped the price of the Model Y Long Range by $US10,000 ($12,878), the Model S Plaid+ by $US10,000 ($12,878), the Model 3 Standard Range Plus by $US500 ($644), and the Model 3 Long Range by $US500 ($644). Which means those cars now cost $US49,990 ($64,377), $US149,990 ($193,157), $US37,490 ($48,280), and $US46,490 ($59,870), respectively, not including options.

Now, the Tesla Model S Plaid+ was already pretty expensive, so buyers of that car probably won’t even notice that they are paying another $US10,000 ($12,878) on top of the $US139,990 ($180,279) they were already paying. And buyers of the Model 3 Standard Range Plus and Model 3 Long Range likewise also won’t notice much of a difference, given that $US500 ($644) is $US500 ($644).

But an extra $US10,000 ($12,878) for the cheapest on-menu Model Y is pretty significant, or about a 25 per cent increase, which is the kind of thing that many buyers will notice. What gives? My best guess is that there is more demand for the Model Y than supply at the moment, perhaps because of the global chip shortage that Tesla has not been immune from.

You might be better off waiting, in other words, if you’re in the market for a Model Y, until Tesla’s production is more stabilised. My other guess is that someone at Tesla got their first good look at the Volkswagen ID.4, like we recently did, had a good laugh, and decided that the Model Y is just that much better.

At any rate, the price of the $US60,990 ($78,543) Model Y Performance is not changed, though if the Long Range price holds at almost $US50,000 ($64,390), the Performance version will start to look like the better value. Tread carefully, Tesla buyers.

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