Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 is only available as a special order

Darnell Taylor
April 13, 2019

Several features will be disabled including the vehicle company's onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats. Tesla explains that the now $39,500 Model 3 Standard Plus "has sold at more than six times the rate of Standard", so the decision was made to simplify production and focus on the Standard Plus. Tesla said it will begin delivering the cars this weekend.

To make the vehicle more affordable, Tesla also announced that it will offer leases on the Model 3.

In responding a follower on Twitter encouraged Tesla owners to buy a product that covers up a camera over the rear-view mirror of their cars, Musk, 47, confirmed for the first time that the objective of the camera was to record video when owners put their auto on the network. Named the Standard Range, the auto finally went on sale to give fans the most-affordable option possible.

The good news for Standard Range Model 3 buyers is that they will now get synthetic leather upholstery and power seats that their cars were not expected to have. Going into a Tesla store and buying the Standard Range Model 3 now gets you a "software-limited version of the Standard Plus", according to the company's blog. Yes, these are the same stores that the EV company announced it was scaling back when it first started selling the low-priced Model 3.

Buyers can still order the cheapest Model 3 via a phone order or at a physical Tesla store.

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The Model Y utility vehicle shares a platform with the Model 3.

According to Tesla, it noticed the slightly pricier Standard Plus variant (with 386km range) was selling at over six times the rate of the Standard Range model, and therefore chose to "simplify our production operations to better optimise cost, minimise complexity and streamline operations".

On its ordering website, Tesla's default options are for customers to make a US$3,000 down payment and spend a total of US$4,199 at signing of a three-year, 10,000-mile annual lease. The monthly payment due on that basis is US$504.

The leases are for 36 months and 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles. Customers won't have the option to buy the auto at the end of the lease because the company plans to use the vehicles in a forthcoming Tesla ride-hailing network, according to the blog post.

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