It used to be that when Tesla introduced a new version of its standard-bearer - the Model S - it was at the upper end of the spectrum. Think of the Ludicrous options or the P90D. Today, though, Tesla announced an expansion of the Model S range at the bottom end.
Tesla will soon sell a Model S 60 and 60D, both of which will offer at least 200 miles of range. If that sounds familiar, then you probably remember that Tesla used to sell a Model S with a 60-kWh battery (the Model S numbers are based on the battery size) but stopped selling it last year. In 2013, Tesla also ended sales of the 40-kWh model. This is the first time that a cancelled model is making a return but, as you might suspect, things are a bit different this time around.
The new 60 has a secret inside: a 75-kWh battery pack.
For one thing, the price is lower. The new 60 will start at $66,000, whereas the previous 60 started at $70,000. There's also an all-wheel drive version available (as the 60D indicates, for "D"ual motors). Plus, the new 60 has a secret inside: a 75-kWh battery pack, which matches the current (until this announcement, anyway) smallest size Model S pack. This is not a new strategy for Tesla.
The new 60s also come with Autopilot hardware, so if someone who buys a new Model S 60 wants to upgrade the battery pack (i.e., access the extra kWh for more range) or turn on the Autopilot options, that will be possible.
The full details, as far as we know them, are available in the press release below.
With these improvements, we've heard from a number of people who would like to buy a Model S, but can more easily afford it only at a lower price point. To respond to these requests, on Thursday June 9 we're introducing two new variants of Model S – Model S 60 and 60D, offering a compelling feature set and a great value at a new low price.
The new Model S 60 delivers more than 200 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and zero-to-60 acceleration in 5.5 seconds, starting at $66,000. The all-wheel drive option brings even more range and performance, beginning at $71,000. And every Tesla comes equipped with active safety features and Autopilot hardware.
Keep in mind that when comparing the price of any electric vehicle to an internal combustion vehicle, it's important to compare not just the out-of-pocket price, but also the effective cost of ownership. Factoring in annual fuel savings which typically ranges between $1,000 and $1,500, as well as available tax incentives, the effective cost of owning Model S 60 comes to about $50k.
And there are other advantages to owning a Tesla that add up over time, including:
- Less maintenance – Tesla vehicles don't require regular maintenance like oil changes, fuel filters or smog checks. And our four-year/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and eight-year/infinite mile battery and drive unit warranty come standard with Model S.
- Ample charging options – for most Tesla owners, home charging provides plenty of range for daily travel, and with an EPA range of over 200 miles, that's still the case for Model S 60 and 60D. For long distance travel, there are many convenient Supercharger and Destination Charging locations throughout our network.
- New features via free software updates – as with every Model S, the 60 and 60D will receive free over-the-air software updates that add functionality and continue to improve the driving experience for years to come.
To provide customers even more flexibility over time, Model S 60 and 60D owners may later choose to upgrade their vehicles to a 75kWh battery with a software update, should they want to add to their car's battery capacity in the future.