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The Almighty Buck Transportation Technology

Tesla Discontinues Its Most Affordable Model S (engadget.com) 95

Tesla will be discontinuing its cheapest Model S option, the Model S 75, this Sunday. What that means is that the all-wheel-drive version -- the 75D -- will take its place as the low-end Model S sedan, currently listed at a starting price of $74,500. Engadget reports: The move to discontinue the Model S 75 was first announced by Tesla in July after it dropped the price by $5,000 a few months earlier. The removal of the model from Tesla's offerings follows its discontinuation of the Model S 60 and 60D vehicles in April, which at the time were the least expensive Model S options available. As well as streamlining its EV line and making all Model S options all-wheel-drive, knocking off the low-end Model S vehicles is also likely being done to carve out a bigger separation between the Model 3 and Model S lines. Custom orders for the Model S 75 will be taken until Sunday, September 24th and the pre-configured versions will be available for purchase until inventory runs out.
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Tesla Discontinues Its Most Affordable Model S

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  • by mckwant ( 65143 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @08:52PM (#55241763)

    Make them the expensive ones. No shade, just saying.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 21, 2017 @09:01PM (#55241787)

      More like 100,000 cars, but I still think your generalization stands.

      https://www.recode.net/2017/4/3/15160462/tesla-ford-deliveries-record-sales

    • Tesla built a little over 80,000 cars last year, and 60% of them were sold in the US. For comparison, that's about double the number of Jaguars sold in the US last year.

  • I recall reading that all the Teslas actually had the same capacity, and the only difference was software that only let the battery charge up to a percentage of full.

    I don't recall if you could buy an "upgrade" to the higher capacity or not.

    Did they actually use smaller batteries in the 75?

    • I think that the 60 and the 75 shared the same battery. The battery in the 80/90/100 models is physically bigger.

    • No, it was only the 60 that was a software limited version of the 75. All the other models do have the actual physical sized batteries the model number implies.

      Yes, you can pay $2000 to upgrade. Originally it was more than that.

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        And only for a short time until they dropped it I think.

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Yeah, it was a transitional model. They stopped producing the 60s, but until they felt that they didn't need a 60 on the market, they kept selling 60s via software-limited 75 packs. It was an incredible deal for buyers, for lots of reasons. One, you could always upgrade later, which decreased your car's depreciation. Two, since you're effectively running at a lower DoD, you're decreasing pack degradation (relative to both those who owned actual 60s, and those who had the full 75). And three, it also could

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not so.

      Early on, there was a 40 kWh option available. This was cancelled; those who ordered it received the 60 kWh pack, software limited to 40 kWh. In 2015, the 60 kWh model was discontinued. In 2016, the 60 kWh model was reintroduced as a software limited 75 kWh model. Apart from those specific models (the 40 kWh and 2016 and later 60 kWh models), no model S has had a software limitation on battery capacity.

      You can upgrade the smaller capacity batteries to higher capacities at the workshop but it's not a

    • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @09:40PM (#55241903)

      > I thought they were all physically the same?

      Nope. The lowest end had only 1 motor and 2-wheel drive. All the higher end were 2 motors and 4-wheel drive. The battery packs did overlap in some models, though.

      The point is, they have so much sales demand that "supply and demand" is taking over. They can sell every single higher-end car they make and still can't keep up, so there is no reason to offer the lesser models. Plus, by selling ONLY 2-motor cars, it streamlines production and will reduce that price some.

      Finally, if you were in the market for the lowest-end S, you might now be pointed to the new model 3, which is the target for "entry level" electric car, now. I know I have no interest in the model 3, because it can't compete with the performance of cars like the Infiniti G37S/Q50 or its market equivalents. Of course, the higher end model S is twice FOUR TIMES the price of those ICE cars, so it isn't like I am really in that market, either. :( Some day...

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @04:07AM (#55242899) Homepage

        For those who are curious:

        G37 S 0-60 ($37k): 4,9s
        Q50 0-60 ($45k): 5,1s (Q50 Red Sport 400 ($58k): 4,5s)
        Model 3 SR ($35k): 5,6s
        Model 3 LR ($44k): 5,1s
        Model 3 SR/LR with performance package: Announced, but performance and pricing TBD.

        Given the typical torque-power curves of ICEs and EVs, the two ICEs would probably match the Model 3 variants somewhere around 0-40 to 0-60, with the ICEs winning beyond that and the Model 3s winning below that. As for the performance Model 3s, who knows? Obviously they won't have it threaten a P100D, but I'd wager that for the LR it'd go for somewhere in the 3,5-4,2s ballpark, and add around $10k to the price; it's cheaper to up an EV's accel than a gasoline vehicle's.

        • So, like I said before, the Tesla 3 (from what we know) is slower than the G37 and Q50 while having a much inferior set of features. Even if the 3 does offer a performance package that can push it significantly above, it is likely going to cost a LOT more (based on what they did with the S performance models) but probably have the same minimal instrumentation and features. It is going to be a hard sell to those in the G37 class.

          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            So, like I said before, the Tesla 3 (from what we know) is slower than the G37 and Q50 while having a much inferior set of features.

            Not at all correct. We'll ignore the fact that "slower than" acceleration only applies to above a certain speed (the Model 3 will always win on "in-town" acceleration, regardless of the version), and instead focus on features. I'm not going to waste the time going into both the G37 and Q50, so let's just pick one - say, the G37. Nav? Optional, not live-updated (except by an ex

            • All very good thought process and information. I will just add that when I was talking about features, I was meaning all available features included, on all the models, and the price of those included. You also have some errors, but that's OK. For example, The loaded G37 does have keyless entry. And at least with the laser guided cruise control it does have limited automatic braking. And it does have all-wheel drive (G37X/G37XS). The Q50 packs on even more features (and costs more (not than the 3), pe

  • They probably weren't selling many of the lowest spec Model S. You don't buy the lowest spec unless you are reaching to afford the car at all. And most of those people that were reaching to afford a Model S have probably put themselves on the waiting list for a Model 3 instead.

    • You don't buy the lowest spec unless you are reaching to afford the car at all.

      I just wanted to chime in that, generally, this is not true. I often buy lower-spec things when I can easily afford the high-end versions because if the lower-spec one does what I need, then why burn money for no reason?

      Tesla, however, is aiming squarely at the "rich people who like to show off" market, so your characterization in this case is probably correct.

  • and no just the ones in Detroit. I can buy a nice 2 bedroom in Surprise, Az for that. If you're spending that kind of money on a car you're probably not buying the lowest spec.
  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Thursday September 21, 2017 @09:54PM (#55241963) Homepage

    I just checked, and the remaining options are the 75D, the 100D, and the P100D. The "D" means "dual-motor"... these are the all-wheel-drive versions.

    This change means Tesla can more or less stop making rear-drive-only motors (just make a few as needed for repairing already-sold rear drive cars).

    I looked at the Model S ordering page [tesla.com], and noticed that a lot of stuff that used to be optional is now standard on the Model S. The "smart air suspension" is now standard. The upgraded stereo is no longer a standalone option, but part of a "premium upgrades package" that includes the improved cabin air filter, the better stereo, and the cold-weather package (which also used to be a stand-alone option).

    Now your only options are: "premium upgrades package", "enhanced autopilot", "full self-driving", and the rear-facing child seats for the rear cargo area. And probably most people will get the "premium upgrades package", looks worth it to me... and "enhanced autopilot" and "full self-driving" are both pure software upgrades. So really there are only two options now, and one of those is the child seats.

    It's just like Apple: they have streamlined their offerings, they will have less to keep track of.

    And as noted in the article, this also segments the Model S a bit above the Model 3.

    P.S. IMHO Tesla's "most affordable Model S" would be a CPO (a Certified Pre-Owned car, i.e. a used car bought directly through Tesla). Tesla still sells those; you can still get one with the 60 battery if you like. I just checked and the least expensive CPO car it offered me was $40,800 (a 60 battery rear-drive car).

    • The base Model S used to be very under-equipped for its price. The interior is still bad - looks and feels cheap, it's uncomfortable, it lacks the comfort and convenience features of competitors. It's like the interior of a mid price muscle car, not a high priced luxury saloon.

      Making features that are available on the competition standard on the Model S as well is a first step.

      Charging extra for software is just petty and buyers will agree; other manufacturers like Mercedes charge for hardware-software comb

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        When you talk about the interior of the Model S, are you talking with or without PUP, and pre or post refresh?

      • by sjbe ( 173966 )

        The base Model S used to be very under-equipped for its price. The interior is still bad - looks and feels cheap, it's uncomfortable, it lacks the comfort and convenience features of competitors

        Having driven both a Model S and more than a few of its competitors I think you are talking out your hind end. It wasn't uncomfortable unless you are a weapons grade snob accustomed to rolling in Bentleys and the like. I think the interior looks great and it certainly doesn't look cheap. Are there more plush interiors? Sure. But good luck finding one with an electric powertrain comparable to the Tesla. Oh, you thought that people bought the Tesla because of the interior?

        Charging extra for software is just petty and buyers will agree; other manufacturers like Mercedes charge for hardware-software combinations, not just software. Selling cars with the full capabilities of the hardware included in the price is the next step.

        Oh yes, Mercedes is all about v

        • by tibit ( 1762298 )

          The "chip" thing is a term getting long in the tooth. Nobody is changing any chips anymore. People refer to firmware reflashes as "chips" because the car world is slow to adapt.

          • The thing is, the manufacturers aren't (in general) leaving hardware performance on the table simply so that they can upsell - because they live in a highly competitive market which wouldn't allow such tactics to persist for long. The reason this is possible is that they are making a complex trade-off between emissions, fuel efficiency and power (and to some distant extent engine longevity). Emissions and fuel efficency rules constrain their hands to a large degree and also influence what the market wants (

        • Oh, you thought that people bought the Tesla because of the interior?

          By the same token, how many people buy a Porsche for the interior? And yet, the difference between a (modern) Porsche interior and a Tesla one is night and day. This isn't a problem for them yet but I believe it will become one quite soon - when Mercedes/BMW/Porsche/Audi/etc bring EVs to market in the next couple of years, people will cross-shop Teslas with those cars, and the interiors will lose them a lot of sales. They'll be left competing largely in the Ford/Toyota/Nissan/etc market but with a price dis

    • It's just like Apple: they have streamlined their offerings, they will have less to keep track of.

      The trick with that comparison is that cars operate in the real world, and Apple products operate in enclosed spaces.

      In Miami you need an upgraded stereo but in Minneapolis you need a cold-weather package. Those markets are naturally segmented, which will reduce sales in both places to some degree because of the increased cost of the required options.

      It's possible that Tesla's costs to offer both the stereo pa

  • I'll wait for the Tesla three-wheeled electric bicycle with weather protection cabin. In short, the Tesla version of the PodRide [mypodride.com].

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How about a Nobe [jalopnik.com] instead?

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      I'll wait for all the other manufacturers to jump into the market and drive real competition but not long enough for the resale of my current infernal combustion machine to collapse in price. Tricky choice that one, pay more for all electric and getter better resale on a fossil fueler or pay less for all electric and get crap price for fossil fueler or maybe just maybe, wait long enough for conversion system from fossil fueler to all electric become available if ever.

      • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @03:42AM (#55242837) Journal
        By the time there is a decent choice of EVs in most price brackets, the resale value of your current car is going to be crap anyway, unless it's a classic. Conversion is going to be expensive and is probably only worth it on really expensive cars. There's a company doing conversions on Porsche 911s, but it is very pricey and the range isn't great (though performance is).
        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Yeah, conversion EVs are usually pretty lousy. Even from-the-factory EVs built on existing ICE architectures are usually pretty poor. EVs are best designed from the ground-up as EVs, with the battery pack forming the base of the floor, and the shape dictated only by aerodynamics / safety / space requirements, not by the constraints of a nonexistent ICE powertrain.

          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            Conversions would seem an inevitability of the number of cars hundreds of millions and how cheap they become ie the conversion kit cost will be totally reflected in the resale value, so a lot of newer used cars become convertible cheap because the purchase price will be so low. That price difference, quite a lot, more than ample to pay conversion cost but that value must be in the vehicle ie the entire used car market, fossil fuel vehicles, basically becomes the conversion market. Many people will not be ab

      • Depends what you are looking for -- My oldest son will be driving soon. I wanted to get him something modern that he learn on and hopefully keep using for 15 years. Tesla's pricing puts them out of the picture.

        Ended up getting a Ford C-Max Energi Hybrid. Has both electric and gas engine. Electric engine has 20-35 mile range. Gas engine adds another 500-600 miles, but isn't really used unless one is taking a road trip or going over 55MPH on the highway. Most days only takes 2hrs of electric charging.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In other news, the local high end grocery store stopped carrying the budget ice cream, because they make more money per unit of freezer space if they only sell premium ice cream. The manager is quoted as saying "Get that [expletive] camera out of my face." Film at 11.

    Same thing here. If Tesla's instantly selling out of every premium car they make, there's zero incentive for them to sell budget version cars.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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