Tesla Stops Selling $35,000 Model 3 Online
Tesla has been streamlining its vehicle options of late in a bid to make things simpler for consumers and optimized for production. More changes happened this week and it's now no longer possible to buy the $35,000 Model 3 online.
Autopilot is now a standard feature on all vehicles, but importantly, it's being added for a lower cost than the Autopilot option use to command. For example, Autopilot used to cost $3,000 when added to the $37,500 Model 3 Stand Plus, but now it comes as standard for $39,500.
As to why Autopilot is now a standard feature, Tesla explains that, "our data strongly indicates that the chance of an accident is much lower when Autopilot is enabled. Autopilot also dramatically improves the quality of the driving experience, especially in heavy traffic, as thousands of our customers frequently describe online"
As for the $35,000 Model 3. It can no longer be purchased online, but that doesn't mean it isn't available. Tesla explains that the now $39,500 Model 3 Standard Plus "has sold at more than six times the rate of Standard," so the decision was made to simplify production and focus on the Standard Plus. It means the $35,000 Standard Model 3 will now be sold as a software-limited version of the Standard Plus. Ordering one requires a call or visit to a Tesla store.
A software-limited Standard Plus means the range is reduced by 10 percent and onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats features are disabled. However, they can be enabled with an upgrade if the owner so wishes. You can also do the opposite and downgrade a Standard Plus to Standard features and receive a refund on the price difference, which is a welcome offer and a nice touch. A call or visit to a Tesla store is also required if you want the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive configuration.
Finally, Tesla is introducing leasing for the Model 3 in the US. There will be 10,000, 12,000, and 15,000 annual mileage plans with a "small down payment and competitive monthly payments." Interestingly, Tesla says anyone who leases a Model 3 won't be able to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease because Tesla intends to use them as part of a ride-hailing network when full-autonomy becomes a realistic option.