It’s hard to believe that Tesla would sell a Model 3 with only 94 miles (151 km) of driving range, but that’s exactly what it’s been doing in Canada. In the past, this version was hidden, but now it’s being advertised on Tesla’s Canadian order website.
There is a good reason for Tesla to offer this low-range model: customer tax incentives. Canada’s government created a $5,000 tax incentive for the purchase of a new EV in 2019, but the base price must be under $45,000 and cost no more than $55,000 with options. All Teslas didn’t qualify because all models started over $45,000 at the time.
So Tesla dropped the price to $44,999 in order to qualify and calls it the Model 3 Standard Range. The order website has $46,389 as the price but that includes destination, air conditioning, and OMVIC fees.
To get the price down, Tesla software-locked the battery pack to 94 miles (151 km) and removed Autopilot. But you can still add Autopilot for $4,000 and full-self driving capability (FSD) for $10,600.
Tesla claims that the short-range Standard Range has the same 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds as the Standard Range Plus model that has a driving range of 263 miles (423 km). The top speed of 140 mph (225 kph) is also the same between the two models.
Very few Canadian customers have opted for the Standard Range because it wasn’t advertised and only those who knew about it ordered it. Now that it’s advertised, I’m curious how many more will sell.
94 miles isn't much range but many don’t need that much range and can live without Autopilot if it allows them to afford a new Model 3 after the tax incentive.