Tesla Launches Leasing Program for Model 3

Andrew Cummings
April 13, 2019

The Model 3 Standard Plus, for example, used to cost $37,500 plus $3,000 for Autopilot.

From today Tesla's famous Autopilot software will become a standard feature instead of an optional extra.

As to why Autopilot is now a standard feature, Tesla explains that, "our data strongly indicates that the chance of an accident is much lower when Autopilot is enabled".

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. A call or visit to a Tesla store is also required if you want the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive configuration. 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.

Typically at the end of a leasing period, you would buy the vehicle outright or trade it for a new model with a similar leasing plan.

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk first talked about his vision of a Tesla shared-vehicle fleet when he unveiled his Master Plan Part Deux in July 2016. The company warns that customers who choose leasing will not have the option to buy the auto at the end of the term, as the vehicles will be used for Tesla's ride-hailing network.

Interested customers can apply to lease a Tesla now at tesla.com/3.

"This latest announcement is further evidence that 2019 will be a bumpy year for Tesla", said analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures.

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

According to Tesla the demand for the Standard Plus blew them away, selling at six times the rate of Standard.

Tesla is restructuring how it sells the Model 3 since the Standard Plus trim option has been selling on average six times more than the base model auto.

The Standard will have a range limited by 10%, and several features from the Standard Plus will be removed via software including Tesla's onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats. More changes happened this week and it's now no longer possible to buy the $35,000 Model 3 online.

The Standard Range auto, which will now cost more than the originally promised $35,000 base price ($36,200 with destination), will now only be available by special order.

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