Entry-Level Tesla Model 3 Hit With a Price Hike Already

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The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus is now available to order in Europe. In Germany, Tesla is charging a base price of 44,500 euros (plus a handling fee of 980 euros) for this version, which offers a WLTP range of 415 km. Notably, leasers won't have the option to purchase their vehicle at the end of the lease as Tesla aims to repurpose them for its future ride-hailing network. Once the lease ends, the vehicle will receive an over the air update which will make it completely automatic. It will be software limited to a 220 mile range, and music streaming, navigation and heated seats will be software disabled.

The new Standard will have a software-limited range that's 10 percent less than the Plus.

Deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 Standard in the U.S. will start this weekend.

All Tesla vehicles now come with the Autopilot driver-assistance system as standard, the company said in a blog post late Thursday.

Anyone looking to buy the "Standard Range" Model 3 will now have to do so at a Tesla store. USA customers can choose from 10,000, 12,000 and 15,000 mile annual usage options, depending on their budgets and driving.

Tesla has developed a very smart, very confusing pricing strategy, especially for its Tesla Model 3.

As a result, the lowest-priced Model 3 available for order on its online menu in the United States is now the $39,500 Standard Plus, which includes Autopilot. Tesla says it plans to use Model 3s returned from leases in its new planned self-driving ride haling network, which may indicate that the service could start in three years or less.

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The effective base price of a Model 3 ordered online is now $40,700.

That's because the $35,000 Model 3 Standard and Standard Plus are essentially the same auto.

Musk promised a $35,000 Model 3 as early as 2016 and has yet to deliver.

Lessees interested in a dual-motor Long Range Model 3 can easily find themselves with a $700 per month lease payment.

"Tesla is now facing a reckoning", said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at car-shopping researcher Edmunds.

It's important to highlight that "customers who choose leasing over owning will not have the option to purchase their vehicle at the end of the lease".

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