Tesla Kills 'Affordable' 60 KWh Model S as Model 3 Approaches

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
tesla kills 8216 affordable 60 kwh model s as model 3 approaches

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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4 of 12 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 20, 2017

    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.

  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Mar 20, 2017

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

  • Beachy Asphalt only works to keep the dirt road below it dry, and it is the dry dirt that holds up the asphalt surface to make a smooth road surface. Once the asphalt cracks or a spring wells up and the dirt gets wet, all bets are off. It is usually due to a spring that perennial potholes form. They are very hard to get rid of.
  • JamesG I’m the owner of the featured car that’s currently on EBay. Thanks for such a nice write up on these cars. Mine happens to be in excellent condition and the photos don’t do it justice. The HT4100 isn’t as bad as some made them out to be and they can go 200k miles with proper maintenance. I also own a 79 w/the analog fuel injected 5.7 350 which should have been used through 1985 but ever-increasing CAFE regulations called for more economical power plants which made GM shelve this great motor.
  • Jeff S Adam on Rare Classic Cars recently bought a pristine 71 Kenosha Cadillac.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY-G2dExgXE&ab_channel=RareClassicCars%26AutomotiveHistory
  • Jeff S Wouldn't most of the large suvs in NYC be livery vehicles? If so that would be hurting those who make their living by driving for hire.
  • EBFlex Yes their mass transit is great if you want to be beat within an inch of your life or pushed onto the tracks by some random psycho.