By on March 20, 2017

tesla model-s-rear

Tesla is taking its most affordable model off the market next month. In order to “simplify the ordering process,” the automaker has decided to abandon the Model S 60 and 60D, according to its official newsletter.

It hasn’t even been a full year since the 60kWh trim returned after the more-expensive Model S 70 replaced it in 2015. Good riddance.

With the Model 3 right around the corner, it doesn’t really make sense to keep the Model S 60. Despite selling the base trim several thousand dollars less than the 75, it’s the exact same car. The only appreciable difference is that the 75 kWh battery has been digitally limited to perform as if it’s a 60 kWh unit.

So, Tesla only makes the big bucks when customers decide to pay extra to “unlock” the EV’s full capabilities and effectively convert it into a 75 through a software update. However, when the Model 3 comes out at roughly half the price and with an almost identical range, nobody in their right mind would opt for the 60. Cheapskates will follow the savings and everyone else will just rationalize a more expensive purchase.

In the brief emailed newsletter, Tesla even admitted that the 60 wasn’t selling as well as anticipated and “most customers ended up buying an equivalent to the Model S 75kWh.” However, Tesla may still lose a handful of budget-minded shoppers in the period between the Model S 60’s death and the Model 3’s birth. There has to be six or seven penny-pinching upper-middle-class types who don’t want to wait for the company’s upcoming $35,000 EV but can’t convince themselves to spend one red cent above $68,000 — before the juicy federal tax credit for green cars, of course.

Consumers have until April 16th to decide if they want the Model S 60, so you still have just under a month to make a huge mistake. After that, the entry Model S will be the 75 kWh version, starting at a pre-credit price of $77,800.

Deliveries of reserved Model 3s should begin at the very end of this year and continue well into 2018.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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12 Comments on “Tesla Kills ‘Affordable’ 60 kWh Model S as Model 3 Approaches...”

  • avatar

    That’s the thing with cars like this…the “performance” price difference will be a matter of a few keystrokes to change the code. Why differentiate at all?

  • avatar

    Tesla has been capacity-constrained since the beginning and is very aggressive about adjusting the product mix to maximize profit. When they couldn’t make very many Model Xs due to part and QC issues, they cranked out more Model Ss and lowered the price in order to sell them. Now that they can start to fill demand for the more expensive (=profitable) Model Xs, they can cut back on Model S production and have no need to sell the Model S as cheap.

  • avatar

    MS60 is better value than MS75 because you are not supposed to charge MS75 beyond 80%, which is 60. Also, a 60 will charge at high speed to 100%, while a 75 will slow down after it goes past 60kW (80%). Besically, 75 would be used above 60 kW only in desperate cases when you run out and don’t have any means to charge. Which is almost never.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “is very aggressive about adjusting the product mix to maximize profit.”

    You mean minimize losses?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I expect further adjustments to the product mix as the Model 3 nears. It is widely expected to offer optional battery capacities up to 90 kWh, which would push range to well over 300 miles.

    Tesla will need to further differentiate the Model 3 to avoid cannibalizing Model S sales, probably in the areas of performance and trim.

    Ultimately, the Model S needs a redesigned v2.0 to appear, as it’s already in its 6th model year.

  • avatar

    Just curious, are there Model 3 pre-production cars driving around Cal? Isn’t their SOP date just a few months away now?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      There is a silver one which has been seen and filmed in the wild, even recently. But it may or may not be the identical car shown at the reveal event a year ago, or it may be one of the pre-production cars they have begun producing.

      You would think they’ve tested them in various climates, etc, but there seems to be no photographic evidence of it.

    • 0 avatar

      @indi500fan: Spy shots are starting to pop up now.

      I’ve read that the “release candidate” versions are being built now and should be hitting the streets soon.

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