Model 3 Pricing Changes and a Flurry of Tesla Pickup Promises Precede … What?

That’s the question being asked by a bevy of cynical journalists and industry observers after Tesla CEO Elon Musk regailed his Twitter audience with descriptions of the automaker’s upcoming pickup truck last night. How does a heavy-duty 240-volt power outlet sound? Self-levelling suspension? Hmm?

At the same time, Tesla’s Design Studio announced revised pricing for the dual-motor Model 3 and its Performance variant. Remaining Model 3 reservation holders were also told they would soon get the opportunity to configure their long-awaited vehicles.

Either the big tent’s working out just great and production is well on track, or there’s something investor-rattling coming down the pipe.

As you already know, Tesla has just three days left until a key target date arrives. The company’s self-imposed production goal of 5,000 Model 3s per week was pushed back earlier this year, with Musk settling on the end of the second quarter as a revised timeline. One the company hits this mark (“sustains it” would be a more apt phrase), its Fremont, California production space, some of it located indoors, can begin building pricer, faster dual-motor sedans.

According to Tesla, the all-wheel-drive dual-motor Model 3, which was to be a $5,000 walk up from the premium-interior single-motor Model 3, is now a $4,000 climb. That puts the price of the cheapest AWD Model 3 at $53,000.

The company has also de-contented the Performance variant in order to list it as starting at $64,000. Previously, it carried a $78,000 price tag. Would-be buyers can add a Performance Upgrades package (20-inch wheels, carbon fiber spoiler, sport pedals, red brake calipers, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, and a 10 mph top speed increase) for an extra $5,000. Want a white interior? That’s another $1,500. Pricing changes have been applied retroactively in order to keep order among the ranks of those who’ve already made a reservation.

While this is all catnip for Tesla aficionados, not all of the price changes put money back in buyers’ pockets. The much-maligned “full self-driving” package, which outfits the car with everything needed for autonomy at a later date, rises in price by $1,000 (to $5,000), assuming you’re adding it after your purchase. Ordering it at the time of purchase carries an unchanged $3,000 price tag.

Now, about that pickup truck:

As you’d expect, Musk’s initial query resulted in a deluge of snarky replies regarding production timelines, fulfilled promises, and sustainable assembly practices, not to mention a lack of tent.

Musk went on to describe the vehicle as having a six-passenger cabin and a driving range of 400 to 500 miles. Previously, he stated that production will begin in 2020. Of course, before that happens Tesla first needs to develop and launch the Model Y crossover and fulfill its promise of selling a $35,000 entry-level Model 3.

The bare-bones, shorter-range Model 3 is still in the works. In its Tuesday night update, Tesla said buyers can expect that model in 6 to 9 months.

[Image: Elon Musk/Twitter]

Nino Plevnik

I am an electric cars lover. I love our planet and want to leave it in good condition to our children. One of the good ways to do this is to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere. As a technical person I worked on computers, hardware maintenance and programming. Otherwise I like advanced technologies, music, books, movies, life and nice weather.

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