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Tesla starts delivering the entry-level Model 3 with locked down features

Published May 27th, 2019 6:04PM EDT
Model 3
Image: TierneyMJ/Shutterstock

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While demand for Tesla’s Model 3 has never been much of a problem, the company took its sweet time before making the $35,000 configuration available to prospective buyers. This naturally rubbed many the wrong way given that the entire impetus behind the Model 3 was to offer up an affordable EV for the masses. Instead, the cheapest Model 3 for quite a while was priced at $42,900.

The reasoning behind this, not surprisingly, involves Tesla’s ongoing struggles to generate as much cash as possible. Explaining Tesla’s thought process on the matter, Elon Musk last year said that if Tesla were to ship the minimum cost Model 3 right out of the gate, it “would cause Tesla to lose money and die.” In short, Tesla prioritized selling higher-margin versions of the Model 3 above all else.

With that said, the highly-anticipated $35,000 Model 3 configuration wasn’t officially available for purchase until February of this year. A few weeks later, in characteristic Tesla fashion, something odd happened out of the blue: the $35,000 configuration disappeared from the company’s online store, with Tesla noting that the only way to order the $35,000 model would be in person at a company store or via the phone.

One month later, the price of all Model 3 variants went up by $400. And through it all, deliveries of the entry-level Model 3 with locked down features were seemingly non-existent.

But the fun has apparently come to an end.

Electrek is reporting that Tesla recently started delivering the entry-level Model 3 with locked down features such as limited range and no access to live mapping. Incidentally, if you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can get a Model 3 with a range of 310 miles and significantly faster acceleration.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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