TESLA HAS announced its cheapest vehicle yet, with the Model S 60 and 60D versions lowering the entry costs for the luxury electric vehicle.
Starting at $128,578 for the 75, Teslas are in high-demand, with owners wanting to purchase any of its current models having to wait until September for their cars to be delivered.
Although available for purchase now – with a $100,800 (plus on-roads) price point – buyers of the new 60 and 60Ds will need to wait until October for delivery.
The California-based car company announced its ‘EV for everyman’ – the Model 3 – earlier this year. Expected to land in Australia in 2018, the anticipated cost will be around $55,000.
Tesla Australia spokesperson Heath Walker admits the main motivation for the new Model S 60 and 60D is lowering the entry level to own one of the extremely popular EVs, but denied there’s an issue with people keen on owning a Model 3 cancelling their orders, and looking elsewhere if forced to wait too long for delivery.
“There will obviously be a natural drop off from a reservation point of view,” he told Wheels. “I think with any product you will see natural attrition.
“However, I think with the compelling proposition that is in play, and the fact we have been very transparent about the timeline, I think people are willing to wait and signed up accordingly.”
Walker admitted the new, cheaper Model S may cause those previously priced out of owning the $120k car – but keen to own a Tesla – jump out of line for the Model 3 to upgrade.
“I think that… those that don’t necessarily want to wait, may transfer into a Model S whilst they are waiting for a Model 3; or may now have the opportunity to say ‘well, now I can afford a Model S, so I will purchase that instead’,” he added.
Tesla says those that purchase the cheaper 60, will be able to upgrade to the $120k 75 at a later date if desired.
“The main motivation [in introducing the 60 and 60D] is price-point,” Walker explained.
“We have heard from a lot of people that want to get into a Model S, but haven’t been able to necessarily get their money together for an upper-level battery.
“So what we thought we would do is release a 60 and 60D, but essentially with [a de-tuned] 75kWh battery – so people have the opportunity to get in at a lower price point, with still the option to upgrade still to a 75kWh range and battery size at a later date if they need to.”
The $100k price point levels the Model S 60 and 60D squarely against the Mercedes E250 and E300e, Jaguar XF R-Sport 35t and XE S, as well as the BMW 3 Series 340i and 4 Series Grand Coupe 435i.