It was only a matter of time.
Not so long ago, we informed you that Tesla moved its Tesla Model 3 Standard Range (much-anticipated $35,000 base model) off the menu and was planning to sell it as a software-limited Standard Range Plus vehicle.
When this started to happen, people who took ownership of the base Model 3 got to enjoy the additional features and benefits of the Standard Range Plus vehicle. This is because Tesla chose not to push the software limitations initially. Owners were told that if they bought or leased a base Model 3, they'd be able to opt for paying extra to upgrade to the "Plus" at any time since the cars share identical hardware.
Upgrading to the Plus model means more range, standard Autopilot, and a partial premium interior, among some other niceties. Currently, the off-menu, base Model 3 carries a starting price of $35,400, while the Plus comes in at $39,900.
So, at the time of purchase, this points to a $4,500 difference. We still don't know what it will cost for owners of the base Model 3 to upgrade to the Plus after the fact, but our best guess is that it will be more than $4,500, based on how Tesla has handled like situations in the past. According to Tesla:
“Its (Model 3 Standard) range will be limited by 10%, and several features will be disabled via software (including our onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats)."
It seems Tesla was either too engrossed in other more pertinent activities, or purposely chose to deliver Plus models to those who ordered the base car. However, we assumed it was only a matter of time before the automaker would activate the over-the-air downgrades to the fleet of vehicles.
Now, Tesla has sent an email to owners stating:
“Your Model 3 will soon receive new software that matches the Model 3 Standard Range configuration you ordered. As we communicated in April, this includes a limited range of 220 miles, and the removal of several software features. To continue experiencing the extended range, faster acceleration and Autopilot features of Model Standard Range Plus, schedule a service appointment through your Tesla app.”
Do you own a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range? Have you enjoyed the "free" features enough to upgrade? If so, has Tesla given you any indication of what that change may cost? We'd love to hear from you in the comment section below.