Elon Musk’s firm Tesla started taking orders for its cheapest-ever electric car on Friday. The new Tesla Model 3, which retails for $45,000 before any savings and incentives, offers a reduced range of 260 miles compared to the 310 miles found on previously-shipping versions of the Model 3.
The new version is the first time the price of the cheapest-shipping Model 3 has reduced since production of the car started in July 2017. Musk introduced the car with a starting price of $35,000 complete with range of 220 miles and standard interior, but explained that the company would initially focus on cars with premium interiors and 310 miles of range with a starting price of $49,000. The new $45,000 “mid-range battery” model was not part of the original announcement, but Musk explained that the car uses a long-range battery with fewer cells that means the company can start production as a stop-gap before the “standard battery” models start shipping.
It’s not the only change Musk is making to the menu, offered to those who placed the $1,000 reservation deposit for their place in line. The all-wheel drive option, which costs an extra $5,000, is now mandatory with the 310-mile battery version. That raises the price up to $54,000, but Musk notes that rear wheel drive orders will still be available for the long range model “for another week or so.”
It’s not the only change Tesla has made to Model 3 orders in recent weeks. Tesla took metallic silver and obsidian black color options off the order pages last month in order to simplify its production process. Notably, as part of Friday’s reshuffle, the option to pre-order full self-driving for $3,000 has also been removed, available as an off-menu order option for another week.
Tesla’s website now lists an estimated availability date for the “standard battery” models in four to six months, meaning the Model 3 could get an even cheaper model around February to April time.
While the $45,000 version may prove a slight disappointment to those holding out for the magic $35,000 figure, Musk notes that after federal and state tax rebates in California, the new model actually costs $35,000 already.