Almost two months after the company announced it would begin selling the trim, Tesla has confirmed customers will no longer be able to buy the $35,000 Model 3 from its website. The reason behind the move isn’t entirely clear, but it is a part of a restructuring the company is acting on to make its line of vehicles more cost-efficient and valuable.
According to Tesla’s blog post, all vehicles now come with Autopilot as a standard feature. As a result, the price of the $37,500 Standard Plus Model 3 is going up to $39,500. The company mentions that it used to cost an extra $3,000 on top of the $37,500 you’d need to spend on the Standard Plus to get Autopilot, so in this case, you’re saving $1,000.
The change also means the Model 3 Standard won’t be available to order online, but it technically will be. See, the standard Model 3 will now ship as a less powerful version of the Standard Plus, limited by tweaked software. You’ll be able to upgrade to Standard Plus at any time and receive such features as longer range, Autopilot, improved music playback, navigation tools, and heated seats. If you want the cheaper option, however, Tesla mentions you can either call them or visit one of their stores to buy it, but it won’t be possible online any longer. In addition, owners of the Standard Plus can downgrade to the Standard and receive a refund for the difference in cost.
In addition, Tesla says you’ll have to either call them or visit a store to buy the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive.
The reason for this week’s changes? Popularity. As it turns out, more people were buying the Standard Plus over the Standard Range. Because of this, Tesla decided to take the $35,000 model off the menu and offer it on the side for those who really wanted it. Simplicity appears to be the name of the game, all the while making things slightly more confusing for those who want to spend the bare minimum to get a Tesla.