Automotive

Tesla backflips (again) and deletes entry-level Model S

Tesla backflips (again) and de...
The Tesla Model S will soon be more expensive
The Tesla Model S will soon be more expensive
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Tesla has dropped the cheapest Model S from the range
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Tesla has dropped the cheapest Model S from the range
The 60 kWh Model S has been dropped from the Tesla range
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The 60 kWh Model S has been dropped from the Tesla range
The four-door Model S will soon be joined by a cheaper Model 3
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The four-door Model S will soon be joined by a cheaper Model 3
The Model S has only been available with a 60 kWh battery for nine months, but the option is being taken away
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The Model S has only been available with a 60 kWh battery for nine months, but the option is being taken away
The Tesla Model S will soon be more expensive
5/5
The Tesla Model S will soon be more expensive
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Less than a year after bringing it back, Tesla has announced it will be cutting the entry-level Model S from its lineup again. Both single- and dual-motor 60 kWh model will be cut, with the brand citing low demand as the reason.

The decision to drop the cheapest Model S comes at an interesting time for Tesla. Lucid Motors, one of the (many) upstarts trying to steal Elon Musk's crown, revealed the cheapest Air would undercut the Model S by US$8,000 in spite of its superior range and performance. Losing the 60 kWh battery option makes that already-significant price gap into a $17,800 gulf.

Just nine months ago, the brand said demand for a cheaper gateway to Model S ownership had forced its hand but now, just nine months down the road, we're being told buyers didn't take to the car. The 60 kWh car shared its battery with the 75 kWh model, with the last 15 kWh simply blocked out by a few lines of code. Apparently, those who only stumped for the entry-level model often ended up paying to unlock the full 75 kWh capacity of the battery later on.

Still, what does Tesla have to gain by making the Model S less attainable? Given the entry-level Model 3 is due to arrive later this year with a $35,000 price sticker, the decision might have been made to give the more expensive, luxurious Model S and X some space at the top of the range. Alternatively, Tesla might think its buyers will now be willing to bite the bullet and stump up the extra cash for the 75 kWh model.

Whatever the reasoning, the 60 kWh Model S will be removed from order forms on April 17 this year. For anyone keen to get their hands on one, the time is now.

Source: Tesla

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5 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is a mistake on their part. Now they will have to compete with other companies making more affordable electric cars.
Milton
Tesla tried to justify the end of the 60 by claiming that most people that purchased it ended up paying to unlock it to be a 75. I call BS, because if that were the case then that completely justifies selling the 60.
I think the real reason they are killing off the 60 is because it just isn't profitable enough. It was by far the best bang-for-buck considering you got a tame 75 for the price of a 60, which ensures extreme longevity of the 60's battery pack.
Derek Howe
With the "cheap" Model 3 coming out later this year, all the people who want a (semi) affordable EV will buy a Model 3, not a low end Model S.
Daishi
I agree with the points @Milton made above but the price Lucid Motors announced still means essentially nothing. As we have seen time and time again there is a big difference between making big claims and delivering on them.
Ralf Biernacki
I suspect the reason they dropped the crippleware is because they were afraid people would learn how to hack it into a fully-functional 75kWh car. Perhaps somebody already did, or they have reasons to believe their codes leaked out. That has always been the problem with crippleware, and there is no solution other than what Tesla finally decided to do---not selling crippleware in the first place.