Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3 now only available as a special order

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The $35,000 Standard Range Model 3 (Model 3 SR) was a major milestone for Tesla when they made the surprise announcement on February 28, bringing a spot of good news after months of mixed press about the health of the company. In Germany, Tesla is charging a base price of 44,500 euros (plus a handling fee of 980 euros) for this version, which offers a WLTP range of 415 km.

"Model 3 Standard will now be a software-limited version of the Standard Plus, and we are taking it off the online ordering menu, which just means that to get it, customers will need to call us or visit any one of the several hundred Tesla stores", Tesla said in a blog post on Thursday night. This should also be the case outside the US, even if Tesla did not explicitly mention this in the announcement. To prove, the EV maker is software limiting the model to 220 mile range, and software disabling music streaming, navigation and heated seats. Tesla said orders for the Standard Range Plus, with 240 miles, a premium stereo, power seats, and upgraded upholstery, outnumbered orders for the base vehicle by 6 to 1.

Tesla said its customers in the United States would be able to lease any Model 3 variant for a small down payment and monthly payments thereafter, but they will not have the option to buy the auto at the end of the lease.

Tesla removed the Standard option Model 3 from its online booking configurator. The Standard Range Plus used to cost $37,500 plus $3,00 for Autopilot, but the most recent increase in price translates to the adoption of Autopilot as standard.

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Tesla recently launched a $35,000 version of their Tesla Model 3 and now this model will not longer be available to buy online. Annual mileage options include 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles for the lease term.

That's because the $35,000 Model 3 Standard and Standard Plus are essentially the same auto.

But along with those adjustments, Tesla is de-emphasising the US$35,000 price point promised when it first unveiled the sedan in March 2016. Tesla says it plans to use Model 3s returned from leases in its new planned self-driving ride haling network, which may indicate that the service could start in three years or less.

Tesla now imports all the cars it sells in China. Lessees will not be able to purchase the auto at the end of the lease period.

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