The long-awaited $35,000 Tesla Model 3, the subject of so many political speeches over the past decade, is now almost a reality again, but not there are any new Tesla variants coming back. Rather, Tesla has slashed the price of the base Model 3 Standard Range Plus sedan $1,000 to $36,990 (without the $1,200 destination charge) offering an EPA-estimated range of 263 miles and a 5.3-second 0 to 60 launch time.
But just as Tesla has lowered one Model 3 variant’s price $1,000, it has raised it $1,000 for another. The Model 3 Performance version is now a thousand dollars dearer with a $55,990 starting price, while the mid-grade Long Range AWD version is now $45,990.
The move is perhaps good news for those who have had their eye on the least-expensive Model 3 but didn’t want to live with a 220 mile range. The Standard Range Plus, on the other hand, offers a slightly better 263 miles, but the Long Range version with an EPA-estimated 353-mile range and a 4.2-second launch time is now $9,000 north of the base model, if you need the extra mileage. That’s perhaps a serious hike for the extra 110 miles, and Tesla has been betting that buyers will spring for it when getting a Model 3.
It is still available off menu, but I don’t think the range, in many drive conditions, yet meets the Tesla standard of excellence
Just like Tesla stock, the Model Y price has been on a roller-coaster lately. The automaker, already known for abrupt pricing changes, recently removed the Standard Range RWD Model Y from its online menu, creating the impression it had disappeared altogether after just as quietly going on sale during the first week of January this year. Elon Musk was forced to weigh in on the reports, clarifying that it had been removed from the online menu but was still available (if customers know to ask for it) making it something of a secret menu item.
The base, $39,990 Model Y, with an EPA-estimated 244 mile range is still available for ordering at a Tesla store or over the phone, but it’s nowhere to be seen on Tesla’s website.
Reshuffling Model 3 pricing is perhaps a response to the upcoming debuts of several lower-priced EVs including from Volkswagen, Nissan and Chevrolet, which recently unveiled its Bolt EUV, priced several thousand dollars south of the Model 3. 2021 is expected to be the year Tesla faces increased competition in multiple segments, including the mass-market electric truck segment, so Tesla has been busy updating its lineup to take on new challengers.
Will Tesla be able to maintain its momentum this year amid a variety of new electric vehicles from other automakers? Let us know in the comments below.
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