Tesla begins offering leases for Model 3

Image by Tesla

Image by Tesla

Named the Standard Range, the auto finally went on sale to give fans the most-affordable option possible.

Tesla said that it would begin bundling its autopilot software as a standard feature on all cars, raising the base price, and would drop the entry-level Model 3 Standard from online ordering.

Besides the potential need for some good press, there are certainly other reasons why Tesla would feel pressure to deliver on its own self-imposed goal of a $35,000 Model 3 right now as opposed to later this year or even next year. Customers who want this version from now on won't be able to get from Tesla's online ordering menu - they'll have to call or visit a store instead. However, without the model listed on the website, Tesla is keeping customers in the dark about its availability. Buyers do have the option to unlock those features at a later date, though, essentially upgrading the vehicle from Standard Range to Standard Range Plus.

The base price of the Plus has also been increased from $37,500 to $39,500, but it now comes with the semi-autonomous Autopilot electronic driving aid, which was a $3,000 option. "Between the cost cuts, waning demand for its vehicles and now making the US$35,000 Model 3 much harder to buy, the company is now quietly realising it has to play by the same rules as every other automaker". Previously, the same package had fetched $40,500 with Autopilot added. It now costs $39 500 with Autopilot included.

Model 3 SR Plus now available in Norway too, at a VERY attractive NOK 367,700.

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Finally, leasing has come to the Model 3.

Turning our attention to the biggest news in regard to the Model 3, the electric sedan is available for lease in the U.S. The lease runs for 36 months, and lessees can choose from three annual mileage allotments - 10,000, 12,000 or 15,000 miles per year.

The Standard version will have its range limited by 10 percent-which means 216 miles of range for the Standard, versus 240 miles for the Plus, according to Tesla. The company might be playing it fast and loose with the word "competitive". The minimum deposit is $3,000, but the payment due at signing will vary from $4,199 to $4,584 depending on the variant.

There's also a catch to Model 3 leasing. Most vehicle leases give you the option to buy the auto outright at the end of the lease period, but not Tesla.

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