By: Praveen Nagaraj

Tesla announced recently some changes they have made to the Model 3 lineup and purchasing options.

You can read the full post from Tesla by clicking here.

We’re making these changes to ensure that our online order process is focused exclusively on the three Model 3 variants customers want most.

Tesla

Autopilot now standard on all Model 3’s except $35,000 variant

The autopilot option is now standard on all Model 3 variants, thereby hiking the prices of the base models of all variants except the $35,000 base option.

The price hike however, is only $2,000 more compared to the price of an Autopilot upgrade which is $3,000.

This makes autopilot more affordable, but mandatory on these variants. Tesla has also stated a reason for this.

We think including Autopilot is very important because our data strongly indicates that the chance of an accident is much lower when Autopilot is enabled.

Tesla

$35,000 Model 3 and long-range rear-wheel drive not available online

Tesla has dropped the ability to order the $35,000 standard option and the long-range rear-wheel drive options from the online site.

The cheapest option now on the online site is the Standard Plus, which used to cost $37,500, but now is $39,500 with the mandatory autopilot installed.

It can still be ordered over the phone, or the hundreds of Tesla stores across the U.S.

$35,000 Model 3 Standard gets software limitations

The Model 3 standard will now have software limitations. Tesla states that this is to streamline production and costs. They also want to make it easier for customers to order the Standard Plus, which is the most popular option among the Model 3.

The Model 3 standard range gets limited to 216 miles from 240 miles. The navigation, music streaming, and heated seats are also software locked and no longer available.

This means that customers can upgrade to the Standard Plus via software update, and that Standard Plus users can request a refund and downgrade their software abilites.

You can now lease the Model 3

The Model 3 is now available for lease from Tesla with 10,000, 12,000, and 15,000 annual mileage options.

All the leases are for 36 months, and a minimum of $3,000 lease deposit is required. An increase in deposit leads to cheaper monthly payments. With the minimum lease deposit, monthly payments range from $535 for the Standard Plus and $889 for the Performance.

You cannot purchase the car at the end of the lease

Tesla says you cannot purchase the car after the end of the leasing agreement, as they plan to use these cars in their Uber-like, ride-hailing network.

Elon Musk has talked about this network in the past, where your Tesla will act as a self-driving taxi to generate revenue for the owner while he/she is not using the car. That is why the Model 3 has the inwards-facing camera inside the car, to surveil ride-hailers that use another owner’s vehicle as a taxi.

We are set to get more information on this ride-hailing network from Tesla at the open investor meeting on April 22nd.

Note: All pricing mentioned is before tax incentives.

Source: arsTechnica

Cover Image Source: Tesla