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Tesla is discontinuing its cheapest car, the 60kWh Model S

Tesla is discontinuing its cheapest car, the 60kWh Model S

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Next month, Tesla will no longer offer the Model S sedan with a 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack — the cheapest car it sells. With the change, the Model S will start at $74,500 with a 75kWh battery before any state or federal tax incentives, up from $68,000 currently. Of course, Tesla will launch the Model 3 later this year, which will be much cheaper still, starting around $35,000.

Model S cars with a 60kWh battery pack purchased since last spring (and 70kWh versions, which were available for a limited time as well) actually come equipped with a 75kWh battery pack, only buyers could only access 80 percent of that pack.

After purchase, if buyers decided they wanted the extra range that the full battery pack could give them, they could “unlock” the extra battery capacity through a sort of in-app purchase. In the case of the Model S 60, upgrading the battery to 75kWh is a $9,500 option.

The news was first revealed by Electrek and confirmed by Tesla. The company sent this email to customers today:

One year ago, we introduced the Model S 60 kWh battery as a more affordable option to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.  However, most customers ended up buying an equivalent to the Model S 75kWh.  To simplify the ordering process for our customers, we will be removing the 60 kWh option from our lineup. 

Customers who still want the opportunity to own a 60 kWh Model S will have until April 16, 2017 to place their order. Any 60 kWh Model S will have the ability to upgrade their battery to 75 kWh via an over the air update.