This week revealed some pretty disappointing news for prospective Tesla owners. Unlike Tesla Motors Inc’s current Model S and Model X owners, buyers of the upcoming Model 3 EV will be excluded from the use of the company’s free Supercharger network – they will have to pay to use it. Reports also state that luxury automaker plans to share the Autopilot data of drivers with the federal government.
It’s been just over two months since Tesla Motors Inc unveiled the much awaited Model 3. This newest concept EV from the luxury automaker promises to be its most affordable yet. The first Model 3 releases should roll out sometime towards the end of 2017 and will go for an initial $35,000. This is less than half the price of a new Model S sedan. Better yet, that $35,000 price tag comes before you factor in the numerous EV tax deductions offered by governments around the world.
Tesla adds supercharger use as an extra
However, experts and industry analysts have long been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Tesla promised an affordable car, but there is consensus among experts that the Model 3’s $35,000 price would be significantly less than the cost of actually building it.
Tesla is no stranger to selling cars at a loss though. Reports several months back suggested that that the company puts a lot of money into making old Model Ss as good as new. For this reason nearly every car in the Tesla’s Certified Pre-owned (CPO) program is thought to be sold at a loss. This is a worthy price to pay though, as having defective or sub standard Model S sedans on the road would probably damage the firms delicate brand a lot more that a quick sale could fix.
The Model 3 makes for a different story though. Even secondhand Model S owners get free Supercharger use. But the lowest costing Model S available via the CPO program right now is still above $60,000. This time around, Tesla Motors is selling a luxury “5-star in all aspects” EV for much less, a price that it probably can’t comfortably afford to sell at. For this reason the EV giant would have to find means to make up for the loss.
Quite simply, the Model 3 will still go for $35,000 at standard. However, the free use of Tesla Superchargers will not be part of that standard price. Model 3 buyers will have to pay a little more for that or pay every time they recharge their cars.
The company says that Supercharger use would have to come as an extra because its engineers aren’t able to figure out a way to make that aspect of the Tesla experience cheaper. And the cheapness of its car components, especially its batteries packs, would be the largest contributor to the Model 3’s success. The Gigafactory is is reported to be key player in this regard. Already in operation, the plant would greatly reduce the cost of building Tesla’s unique yet expensive battery packs, as well as other components.
As we move closer to the car’s production, we could expect to hear of other items, that are assumed to be basic, revealed as too costly for the EV maker to make standard with its $35,000 EV.