All Tesla Model 3 Variants In China Include Free Enhanced Autopilot

FEB 8 2019 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 20

Perhaps other markets will eventually get Tesla Enhanced Autopilot for free?

While we’re not holding our breath, it sure would be nice if the Tesla Model 3 came standard with the automaker’s Enhanced Autopilot semi-autonomous driving feature. It’s difficult to predict what’s up Tesla’s sleeve, however, the company has a track record for adding and removing features on a regular basis, as well as adjusting pricing.

Our good friend Vincent (@vincent13031925) has been integral in reporting about Tesla Model 3 news from China, along with other general Tesla news from Asia. He recently tweeted that Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot is now standard on all Model 3 sedans in the country, free of charge.

Of course, we questioned whether or not this information was true. It’s not that we don’t trust Vincent, as his track record has been spot on. However, there is so much misinformation out there, which makes it hard to know what’s verified. It turns out we weren’t the only ones unsure of the situation. Thankfully, Vincent touched base with a Tesla sales rep in China to verify. It appears EAP is standard for the life of the vehicle, much like that prior free Supercharging on our shores.

What do you think? Will Tesla eventually offer its Enhanced Autopilot technology as standard in all markets? Full Self-Driving is also on the way, so it’s difficult to assume what’s in store for the future.

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20 Comments on "All Tesla Model 3 Variants In China Include Free Enhanced Autopilot"

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EAP costs a fortune to develop, so I am fine with the price of it being a software bit flip, however, with China I imagine this is done to offset some of the 25% import tariff. It doesn’t actually cost Tesla anything extra if people wouldn’t buy the feature anyway, and if it gives them a reason to pay extra for the car it is great. Once Tesla is manufacturing these in Shanghai it will probably drop the costs dramatically.

The tariff is only 15% this quarter. Europe is 10%, so only a couple thousand difference.

The tariff goes back up to 40% April 1, so this is about generating orders for March or early April. Pulling two demand levers this soon is bad news.

It really isn’t bad news given how much more expensive the cars are there. If the RWD LR is $64,000 in China, and was what in the US, $49,000 (but would be roughly $46,000 today)? With the 15% tariff (sorry said 25 earlier, was thinking of 25% drop) that would put it at $53,000 (maybe $60k with free AP and delivery)? The price seems to be fairly lucrative still, even after throwing in “free” AP.

Edit: compared to the US pricing, after paying almost $10,000 to the government there for a tariff, the car would be similar priced to the US version after buying AP (if they still sold that model in the US).

Besides the tariff they also have shipping cost and possibly some intermediary costs.

My issue isn’t so much the absolute price level as much as making two changes before they deliver the first car. There simply isn’t as much Model 3 demand in China right now as they expected. This surprises me, because S/X sales were always very strong there despite being much more expensive.

I read elsewhere this is a Chinese New Year promotion. Perhaps they’ll unbundle EAP again once the holiday ends.

Not really bad news but good marketing. Getting a gob of Model 3’s on the road quickly will be a huge benefit once the tariffs kick in. People will see them. People will know someone who has one and loves it (and doesn’t have range anxiety producing problems).

Also a smart move to sell as many in to China as possible with the lower tariffs. It’s a short time window and best to take advantage of it. They’ll sell however many elsewhere as they’re going to sell but they’ll sell a lot more in China in 2019 if they take as advantage as possible of the lower tariff period.

The trade deadline before reverting back to the previously higher tariffs in actually March 1 (instead of April).

Where did you see that? Every report I see says they suspended the 25% penalty tariff for 3 months starting 1/1/19. Here’s CNN, for example:
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/14/business/china-us-auto-tariffs/index.html

I fully agree.
This is a smart move from Tesla. If the hardware is there anyway, for Tesla there are no extra costs and help the car to be less expensive in China where extra taxes are too heavy.
It will build brand awareness in a very important market that soon will have home build Tesla cars.

It’s not just the 15% tariff that Tesla needs to overcome, it’s also the fact that its local competitors qualify for generous incentives while Tesla doesn’t. Throw in something for free that’s already installed anyway is a cost effective way to bridge the gap.

Don’t count on this being offered for free in less encumbered markets anytime soon though.

Nobody wants a Chinese car, not even the Chinese… I’m being a bit ironic 🙂 but this sentiment is a reality.

Eventually, Autopilot will be standard equipment on all Tesla models.

I think it becomes standard in China first because: one, Tesla needs to have something extra that the local manufactures don’t have to justify the price; two, I suspect regulations and liability laws are more lax in China, so it may be a better place to push the limits of Autopilot; three, it gets Tesla noticed not only for sales, but as a recruitment for talent.

I don’t think autopilot will be free any time soon for most markets. People are willing to pay a lot for something is not even ready or based on future unclear promises – why would they do that?
Plus development costs are expensive and someone have to pay for that.

To be clear, Autopilot works mostly as advertised today (driver’s aid, sure they are continually improving it, but that isn’t a negative, the feature is worth asking price today even if they stopped updating the car). You might be thinking of full self driving option, which is not yet ready (and probably won’t be for a while).

Rasmus Birkegaard Christensen

In Denmark AP is 10.622 us dollars including all taxes.
If they decide to give it away for free they will have some customers who recently bought it that will be pissed. On the other hand they should include it in the price, by doing that they could sell it cheaper.

Hardware is included in every M3 sold, so making it not a paid option won’t affect volume manufacturing cost. It a software switch that enables it, for those that pay later.

Rasmus Birkegaard Christensen

I know. As I wrote i paid 10.000 dollars to enable the feature. Would be sad if they decided to make it free right after I bought the car. It makes the car depriciate 10.000 that same day. But I guess it’s not the case in Europe anyways since they do it for fsd reasons in China.

Edit.
Can see I wrote they could sell it cheaper, by that I meant the car.

In Germany the AP future version cost 5,000 Euro when buying it now – or 7,000 Euro when activating it later.
So this will not make Europeans happy when they learn now that China gets it for free where they shelled out bundles of cash for the AP.

As I see it, the underlying logic for Tesla here is to smooth out the differential in cost between locally produced standard range cars and imported high spec ones. The standard range Model 3s will be produced locally in China. In addition to being cheaper naturally cheaper due to lower spec, they will be cost less due to not having to pay import duties or shipping costs, and will also benefit from purchase incentives that aren’t available to imported cars. In short, they will be much **much** cheaper than any Model 3 coming into China now. The difference in the US may be $10k or $20k; the difference in China will be more like $40k or $50k. Chinese buyers aren’t stupid; they can see that the standard spec cars will be a much better deal, so it makes sense for Tesla to sweeten the package on the higher spec imported cars so that the difference is less marked and help people justify buying them. Tesla has said that the higher spec cars will continue to be imported, so I suspect that they’ll keep this feature as standard on those versions indefinitely. The only thing that might change this would be… Read more »

It doesn’t make sense to restrict the Shanghai factory to SR only. Musk just said that because he doesn’t want buyers to wait for cheaper LR/AWD/P models.

My theory is they wanna deploy as many AP enabled vehicles as they can to feed their machine learning system as I doubt they have as many vehicles in the Chinese market as they do in North American for this purpose.