Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Tesla begins offering leases for Model 3

Tesla begins offering leases for Model 3

Buyers do have the option to unlock those features at a later date, though, essentially upgrading the auto from Standard Range to Standard Range Plus. People looking to buy the $58,400 CAD "Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive" trim option will also now need to visit a physical store to order one.

As a result, the lowest-priced Model 3 available for order on its online menu in the United States is now the $39,500 Standard Plus, which includes Autopilot.

Anyone looking to buy the "Standard Range" Model 3 will now have to do so at a Tesla store.

A software-limited Standard Plus means the range is reduced by 10 percent and onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats features are disabled.

Tesla's explanation? "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's release on the changes said that "all Tesla vehicles now come with Autopilot bundled as a standard feature", but Fox News Autos has confirmed that the feature is not active on the $35,000 version of the Model 3.

Now, in the latest course correction, Tesla says it will end online sales of the long-awaited $35,000 version of its Model 3 sedan, its lowest-priced offering, and make other changes that will effectively raise the price of the vehicle for many customers.

Tesla has been adjusting prices of its US -made cars in China to remain affordable in the country, a move also aimed at fending off competition from a swathe of domestic EV startups such as Nio Inc, Byton and XPeng Motors. Tesla said it will begin delivering the cars this weekend.

Tesla announced a change to their vehicle line-up this week that saw the end of online sales of the $35,000 Tesla Model 3 announced a little over a month ago.

On its ordering website, Tesla's default options are for customers to make a $3 000 down payment and spend a total of $4 199 at signing of a three-year, 10 000-mile annual lease. The monthly payment due on that basis is US$504. That likely puts the Model 3 Standard Range's price at about $37,000 or possibly $38,000.

It's important to highlight that "customers who choose leasing over owning will not have the option to purchase their auto at the end of the lease".

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