Tesla Motors is has started reaching out to reservations holders of the lower-priced Model 3 to see if they'd be interested in buying the now-base version Model S electric vehicle instead, Teslarati reports. The California-based automaker has sent notices out to members of the Tesla Motors Club saying that, instead of waiting a few years for the Model 3, a Model S can be had for about $667 a month. The single-charge mile range will be pretty similar, too. The Model S 60, with a 60-kilowatt-hour battery pack, will be able to travel more than 200 miles on a charge, while the Model 3's range will be about 215 miles.
But what about that price? On first glance, there's about a $30,000 difference. The Model S 60 starts at about $66,000 and the Tesla is shooting for a Model 3 base price around $35,000. If federal and state credits for EVs expire before the Model 3 sees the light of day, though, the comparison changes by $7,500 in favor of the Model S (or $10,000 in California). That is, you can get a tax rebate on the Model S now, while it's could be gone when the Model 3 goes on sale. And estimates for a fully-loaded Model 3 put it closer to $50,000, compared to the out-of-pocket $56,000 base price for the Model S 60.
Tesla announced the return of the 60-kWh Model S last week. The company previously sold a 60 that was priced at about $70,000. And in 2013, Tesla halted sales of a Model S with a 40-kWh battery. The good news is that Tesla Model 60 and 60D owners have the option to upgrade their cars to a 75-kWh battery with a software update. Whether that's enough to get folks to give up their place in line for the Model 3 remains to be seen.