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Tesla delivers first $35,000 Model 3s to a happy few customers

Tesla has started deliveries of the long-promised Model 3 for $35,000 to a happy few customers, but the delivery of the promised vehicle is expected to be short lived.

After Tesla announced that it is moving away from the promised base version of Model 3 at $35,000 last week, the automaker confirmed that it would start deliveries this weekend with a software-locked version of the Model 3 Standard Range Plus.

Now several buyers have reached out to Electrek to confirm that they have taken delivery of the ‘Model 3 Standard Range’.

The vehicle is virtually identical to the more expensive Standard Range Plus version of the Model 3 except that Tesla has software-locked the battery pack at 90% of its capacity and disabled some features like “onboard music streaming service, navigation with live traffic visualization, and heated seats.”

As we previously reported, Tesla has removed the $35,000 version of the Model 3 from the online configurator and made it only available as an “off-the-menu” product – making it harder to order.

In the past, Tesla has generally used this method to phase out a product.

Electrek’s Take

Now those people who ordered the base Model 3 without any options are currently very happy customers.

They had to wait a long time, but they are receiving better vehicles than they expected since they are getting the partial premium interior as Tesla never ended up producing the standard interior.

They are also getting a bigger battery pack, albeit software-locked at 90% capacity, but it results in the same range originally promised and on top of it, you can daily charge to 100% without worrying about battery capacity degradation.

Ultimately, Tesla ended up delivering a $35,000 Model 3 as promised, but it’s more for appearances than anything else as the vehicle is clearly going away.

The situation is almost identical to Tesla’s promise of a $50,000 Model S.

When the automaker realized that it was much more difficult than anticipated to produce the vehicle at that price point, Tesla declared that demand was too low for it and never produce the vehicle.

Instead, they delivered a software-locked version of the more expensive Model S 60 and phased out the least expensive version.

I think we are seeing the same thing happening for Model 3.

To be fair, the cheapest Model 3 is now $39,500, which is not as big of a difference as it was for the Model S lineup.

Nonetheless, I would have liked for Tesla to have been able to achieve a $35,000 price point on the vehicle and do it without eliminating its retail operations.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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