Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 is only available as a special order

Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 is only available as a special order

Tesla's $35,000 Model 3 is only available as a special order

Bad news for Canadians who had their eye on Tesla's least expensive auto: Less than two months after announcing the new Model 3 Standard Range at a base price of $47,600 plus freight and delivery charges, the company is now selling it at $53,700 on its website. All Model 3 configurations are available, according to Tesla, and the price obviously varies with each.

What just happened? Tesla said that since introducing the Standard and Standard Plus editions last quarter, the premium model has outsold the Standard more than six to one.

Tesla's announcement also said it would begin leasing the Model 3, but would not offer customers the option to buy the cars after their leases expired, a departure from the typical industry practice and its own policy on other models. Tesla downgrades the abilities of the Model 3 Standard version, limiting the miles it can travel on a single charge, blocking some autopilot features and preventing drivers from turning on the seat warmers.

The electric auto maker plans to keep taking online orders for the Standard Plus Model 3, which starts at $39,500 and is now the lowest-price option available to digital consumers, along with higher-end models.

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Tesla has officially launched its Model 3 leasing program to include any variant of the all-electric midsize sedan.

Lessees can choose leases at 10,000, 12,000, or 15,000 miles per year. Yes, these are the same stores that the EV company announced it was scaling back when it first started selling the low-priced Model 3.

The change also means the Model 3 Standard won't be available to order online, but it technically will be.

Tesla said now people must order the base Model 3 vehicle as an "off-the-menu" item. If customers want those additions, they will need to upgrade to the $39,500 Standard Plus model by paying the difference. Tesla did add that customer who leave will not have the option to buy back their vehicles at the end of the term, because "with full autonomy coming in the future via an over-their-air software update, we plan to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network", Tesla wrote. Lessees will not be able to purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease period. Previously, the base price of the Model 3 was $37,500 and Auto-pilot took another $3,000.

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