Model 3 Pricing Changes and a Flurry of Tesla Pickup Promises Precede … What?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

That’s the question being asked by a bevy of cynical journalists and industry observers after Tesla CEO Elon Musk regailed his Twitter audience with descriptions of the automaker’s upcoming pickup truck last night. How does a heavy-duty 240-volt power outlet sound? Self-levelling suspension? Hmm?

At the same time, Tesla’s Design Studio announced revised pricing for the dual-motor Model 3 and its Performance variant. Remaining Model 3 reservation holders were also told they would soon get the opportunity to configure their long-awaited vehicles.

Either the big tent’s working out just great and production is well on track, or there’s something investor-rattling coming down the pipe.

As you already know, Tesla has just three days left until a key target date arrives. The company’s self-imposed production goal of 5,000 Model 3s per week was pushed back earlier this year, with Musk settling on the end of the second quarter as a revised timeline. One the company hits this mark (“sustains it” would be a more apt phrase), its Fremont, California production space, some of it located indoors, can begin building pricer, faster dual-motor sedans.

According to Tesla, the all-wheel-drive dual-motor Model 3, which was to be a $5,000 walk up from the premium-interior single-motor Model 3, is now a $4,000 climb. That puts the price of the cheapest AWD Model 3 at $53,000.

The company has also de-contented the Performance variant in order to list it as starting at $64,000. Previously, it carried a $78,000 price tag. Would-be buyers can add a Performance Upgrades package (20-inch wheels, carbon fiber spoiler, sport pedals, red brake calipers, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, and a 10 mph top speed increase) for an extra $5,000. Want a white interior? That’s another $1,500. Pricing changes have been applied retroactively in order to keep order among the ranks of those who’ve already made a reservation.

While this is all catnip for Tesla aficionados, not all of the price changes put money back in buyers’ pockets. The much-maligned “full self-driving” package, which outfits the car with everything needed for autonomy at a later date, rises in price by $1,000 (to $5,000), assuming you’re adding it after your purchase. Ordering it at the time of purchase carries an unchanged $3,000 price tag.

Now, about that pickup truck:

As you’d expect, Musk’s initial query resulted in a deluge of snarky replies regarding production timelines, fulfilled promises, and sustainable assembly practices, not to mention a lack of tent.

Musk went on to describe the vehicle as having a six-passenger cabin and a driving range of 400 to 500 miles. Previously, he stated that production will begin in 2020. Of course, before that happens Tesla first needs to develop and launch the Model Y crossover and fulfill its promise of selling a $35,000 entry-level Model 3.

The bare-bones, shorter-range Model 3 is still in the works. In its Tuesday night update, Tesla said buyers can expect that model in 6 to 9 months.

[Image: Elon Musk/ Twitter]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
4 of 18 comments
  • Turf3 Turf3 on Jun 28, 2018

    Minor point, but who are these people using "high power 240V tools"? They sure as heck aren't in the USA. I have never seen hand held power tools for 240V in my life and I have been dealing with all kinds of tools and equipment in the industrial setting (where 240V service is almost always available) for over 30 years. How can a guy who doesn't even know what kind of power tools are used in the US specify the design of a pickup truck?

    • See 1 previous
    • HotPotato HotPotato on Jul 01, 2018


  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Jun 28, 2018

    The rapidly changing appearance of the Teslatruck, from 2 door, to crew cab to cabover suggests some strong indecision by Musk. If he wants to bite a piece out of the top echelon mega-trucks of Ford, Dodge and Toyota he has to consider the market profile. These buyers want maximum comfort and full accessories and an imposing presence on the street, stray too far from this and you get buyer drought.

  • Craiger I love the people who call Musk an imbecile. As if they could even get an interview for a job at one of his companies.
  • Lou_BC I'm waiting for Tesla to make a pickup!
  • Lou_BC Autograph? Turn Up the Radio?
  • Oberkanone Were these available with diesel?At $3700 this Volvo presents nicer than other vehicles I see at this asking price.
  • V16 Lobbyists, not a Senator from Missouri are the real power brokers in Washington.Money, the mother's milk of politics dictate every outcome.