Introducing the Incredible New Government-pandering, 93-mile Tesla Model 3
Forgive this writer for channeling Jonathan Pryce. Brush up on your secret handshake, too, as Tesla has a new version of the Model 3 customers can’t order online.
It’s a model that stands to become even more of a ghost than the U.S.-market Model 3 Standard Range, which disappeared from the company’s website after being on sale just a few days. American customers don’t apply here, as this cynical model’s sole purpose is to undercut a government EV incentive program’s price cutoff by a single dollar. A dollar, it should be said, that’s worth about 75 U.S. cents.
Who’s excited about 93 miles of range?
Probably pretty damn few, but the just-announced Canadian-market Model 3 Standard Range isn’t expected to find many buyers, anyway. It had better not. A cash-hungry Tesla sure doesn’t want to unload this vehicle for what’s undoubtedly a steep loss.
First off, credit where it’s due: Electrek‘s Fred Lambert — yes, good ol’ Fred, beneficiary of Tesla’s referral program (and recent participant in an online dust-up with an ornery CEO) — broke this bit of news.
Yeah, there was a major change in last several months. Everyone noticed, Fred. Hello.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2019
You see, up in Canada the federal government recently announced a new EV incentive program, but the $5,000 rebate is only available for models with a base MSRP below $45,000. The program, which kicks off, well, today, covers such vehicles (containing six seats or less) up to an optioned-out $55,000.
The key is that lower figure. Models starting above it can’t play, and the Model 3 Standard Range started at $47,600 before “gas savings” in the Great White North. The vehicle Musk actually wants customers to buy — the Standard Range Plus — stickers for $55,010 north of the border. Shave off the $1,300 destination charge and $10 OMVIC fee, and it becomes eligible for the federal incentive, but only if someone takes an axe to the carefully hidden base model.
Which Musk promptly did, slashing the Model 3’s base MSRP to $44,999.
That puts the Standard Range Plus in the running, and it’s the only reason why Tesla is offering a cheaper version of a model it doesn’t want anyone to buy. Will anyone actually take ownership of a Canadian Standard Range model? One assumes Tesla will build at least a few of these software-restricted dogs, but who’s going to shell out $44,999 for a vehicle with less range than a previous-generation Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus Electric?
Ninety-three miles of range is all the incentive anyone needs to dig deeper into their wallet to get the 240-mile Standard Range Plus, which now unofficially qualifies for the $5,000 rebate (Transport Canada has not yet confirmed the model’s eligibility). Upselling will be fierce, if it’s even necessary.
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- Jeff S Still a nice car and I remember these very well especially in this shade of green. The headlights were vacuum controlled. I always liked the 67 thru 72 LTDs after that I found them bloated. Had a friend in college with a 2 door 71 LTD which I drove a couple of times it was a nice car.
- John H Last week after 83 days, dealership said mine needs new engine now. They found metal in oil. Potential 8 to 9 month wait.
- Dukeisduke An aunt and uncle of mine traded their '70 T-Bird (Beakbird) for a brand-new dark metallic green '75 LTD two-door, fully loaded. My uncle hated seat belts, so the first time I saw the car (it was so new that the '75 models had just landed at the dealerships) he proudly showed me how he'd pulled the front seat belts all the way out of their retractors, and cut the webbing with a razor blade(!).Just a year later, they traded it in for a new '76 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (they had owned a couple of Imperials in the '60s), and I imagine the Cadillac dealer took a chunk out to the trade-in, to get the front seat belts replaced.
- CaddyDaddy Lease fodder that in 6 years will be on the 3rd owner in a poverty bound aspirational individual's backyard in a sub par neighborhood sinking into the dirt. The lending bank will not even want to repossess and take possession of this boat anchor of a toxic waste dump. This proves that EVs are not even close to being ready for prime time (let's not even talk about electrical infrastructure). EVs only exist in wildly expensive virtue signaling status-mobiles. FAIL! I know this is a Hybrid, but it's a Merc., so it will quickly die after the warranty. Show me a practical EV for the masses and I'll listen. At this time, Hybrids are about the way to go for most needing basic transportation.
- Jeanbaptiste The bubble free dash on the R32!