As you’d expect, this change maximizes Tesla’s profit by forcing most customers to go for the Standard Range Plus on the automaker’s website out of convenience. John Rougeux told Electrek he picked up his Model 3 in Nashville on Saturday, and the Standard Range leaves much to be desired.
Even though the hardware is similar to the Standard Range Plus, the entry-level option is software-locked in many departments. The range, for example, is limited to 220 miles. There are no live maps and the fog lights aren’t enabled. Autopilot isn’t enabled either. Adding insult to injury, customers aren’t getting music streaming nor heated seats.
A disappointment in many ways, the Standard Range can be upgraded to Standard Range Plus after purchase. The question is, why would you spend $35,400 on the SR when the SRP is $4,500 more? The answer depends on location. For example, the Standard Range makes more sense in the United Kingdom because EVs that cost under £40,000 don’t have to pay £320 in road tax.
Tesla is even craftier in Canada, where the iZEV program offers incentives worth 5,000 dollars for EVs that retail at less than $45,000 before the discount and no more than $55,000 with options. Over there, the Standard Range is limited by software to 93 miles, thus enabling a starting price of $44,999.
So much for the mass-market electric car, huh? Elon Musk might be charming, but he’s also misleading in regard to the Model 3. Back when he promised the $35,000 electric car of the people, he didn’t mention how thin the profit margins were and how unwilling the bean counters are about selling the entry-level option.