In a casual email, the electric car maker Tesla has informed potential UK buyers of its intention to drop the smallest battery option in the Model S in April this year.
Reintroduced one year ago, the Model S with a 60 kWh battery was the cheapest route into the American premium electric car. Now priced at £66,880 (before PiCG), following a series of hefty price rises, the Tesla wasn’t exactly cheap. With the removal of this specification from the lineup, the Model S 75 is the new entry level at an eye-watering £73,380.
So why this move?
Tesla claim :
“Most customers ended up buying an equivalent to the Model S 75 kWh”
In a clever move, buyers are able to upgrade to the larger battery pack after purchase as the 60kwh car was actually fitted with a 75kwh battery, but limited through software. According to Tesla, buyers were willing to pay the £7,500 premium for another 40miles of range in addition to the 243miles (NEDC) available, effectively making the 60 redundant.
Tesla claim they are looking to:
“Simplify the ordering process for our customers”
With the imminent arrival of the Model 3, is Tesla actually trying to simplify production by removing a car from the line-up and trying to create some space in the pricing structure for a top-end Model 3?
It would be interesting to know how many non-upgraded 60kwh cars actually exist. If there are many, then this exercise is simply another price rise on-top of the £8,500 added to the 60kwh car during this year alone.
Customers who still want the opportunity to own a 60 kWh Model S will have until April 16, 2017 to place their order.