Tesla Axes Base Model S Due To Lack of Demand


  • 2013 Tesla Model S Picture

    2013 Tesla Model S Picture

    The entry-level 2013 Tesla Model S with the 40 kWh battery will be eliminated due to lack of demand. | April 01, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • The entry-level 2013 Tesla Model S with the 40 kWh battery will be eliminated due to lack of demand, Tesla Motors announced on Sunday.
  • "Only 4 percent of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack, which is not enough to justify production of that version," said Tesla Motors in a statement.
  • The customers who ordered the entry-level model will instead receive a car with the 60 kWh pack, but range will be software-limited to 40 kWh, the automaker said.

PALO ALTO, California — The entry-level 2013 Tesla Model S with the 40 kWh battery will be eliminated due to lack of demand, Tesla Motors announced on Sunday.

"Only 4 percent of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack, which is not enough to justify production of that version," said Tesla in a statement.

The customers who ordered the entry-level model will instead receive a car with the 60-kWh battery, but range will be software-limited to 40 kWh, the automaker said.

"It will still have the improved acceleration and top speed of the bigger pack, so will be a better product than originally ordered and can be upgraded to the range of the 60 kWh upon request by the original or a future owner," Tesla added.

Tesla did not respond immediately to a query from Edmunds asking how much it will cost to upgrade the range of the car. In December, Tesla announced a new base price of $59,900 on the Model S. The price does not include destination and does not reflect a $7,500 federal tax credit.

The company also said all Model S cars fitted with the 60-kWh battery pack will be built with Supercharger hardware included.

"Tesla is taking a slight cost risk that ultimately all customers will want to buy the Supercharger upgrade and receive unlimited, free long-distance travel for life," the company said. "Even for those that never drive long distances, this will improve the resale value of their car to people that do."

Tesla also said it turned profitable in the first quarter, citing higher-than-expected sales of the Model S.

Vehicle sales for the first three months of this year exceeded 4,750 units, versus the 4,500 that the company estimated in mid-February.

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company will have a "really exciting" announcement on Tuesday.

Edmunds says: Should be interesting to watch what else Tesla has in mind with tomorrow's announcement.

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