Economy

Buying a Tesla Is Going to Cost You More

Buying a Tesla Is Going to Cost You More

It will be a software-limited version of the Standard Plus, with 10-percent lower range, no heated seats, disabled music streaming and other downgrades.

And a standard Model 3 costing US$35,000 just became harder for customers to actually order. Tesla announced that Autopilot will now be standard on all Tesla vehicles (with the exception of the $35,000 car).

Tesla has been adjusting prices of its USA -made cars in China to remain affordable in the country, a move also aimed at fending off competition from a swathe of domestic EV startups such as Nio Inc, Byton and XPeng Motors. Buyers can activate them (and essentially convert the vehicle into a Standard Plus Model 3) at any time. Limiting the number of battery pack sizes it offers helps streamlines production, and the company has used a similar strategy several times previously to update the Model S and X lineups.

After the federal tax credit available on its cars halved January 1, Tesla has dropped prices, added features, streamlined its model lineup, and introduced new lower-priced options for the Model 3, including the long-promised $35,000 base Model 3 Standard Range.

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According to Tesla, it noticed the slightly pricier Standard Plus variant (with 386km range) was selling at over six times the rate of the Standard Range model, and therefore made a decision to "simplify our production operations to better optimise cost, minimise complexity and streamline operations".

The electric auto maker plans to keep taking online orders for the Standard Plus Model 3, which starts at $39,500 and is now the lowest-price option available to digital consumers, along with higher-end models.

Tesla's long-range, rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3 will also be unavailable to order online.

Finally, leasing has come to the Model 3. The lease runs for 36 months, and lessees can choose from three annual mileage allotments - 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year. Most vehicle leases give you the option to buy the auto outright at the end of the lease period, but not Tesla. The minimum deposit is $3,000, but the payment due at signing will vary from $4,199 to $4,584 depending on the variant. According to the automaker's blog post, it will collect all these leased cars at the end of their terms for future use in Tesla's ride-hailing network.