Tesla cuts prices across EV lineup, ends free supercharging for Model S, Model X

Tesla slashed prices across its electric vehicle portfolio overnight as the automaker aims to boost sales in an economy beaten down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reuters and Electrek were the first to report the changes. The base price of Model 3 standard range plus is now $37,990, a $2,000 reduction. But the biggest cuts were made to Tesla’s more expensive, luxury vehicles, the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV.

The Model S long range plus now starts at $74,990, a decrease of $5,000. The more expensive Model S performance as well as the two Model X configurations also saw prices slashed by $5,000.

The price cuts come as automakers seek ways to attract buyers after months of a lockdown prompted by COVID-19, which has dampened demand and upended the economy. The traditional big three U.S. automakers, Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, have turned to 0% financing rates as well as deferred or longer-term payment options. Other automakers, including Hyundai Motor America, Kia Motors America, Nissan North America, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A and Volkswagen of America, have also announced incentives and payment plans aimed at preventing existing owners from defaulting on loans as well as incentivizing new buyers.

Tesla has also removed mention of free unlimited supercharging for new Model S and Model X sales along with the price cuts.

The company has waffled on the free supercharging incentive before, removing it and bringing it back over the past several years.

In the early days, free unlimited supercharging was part of the package of buying a Tesla vehicle. The automaker began phasing out free unlimited access to its supercharger network when it announced that customers who buy cars after January 1, 2017 will have 400 kilowatt-hours, or about 1,000 miles, of free charging every year. Once owners surpassed that amount, they would be charged a small fee.

Tesla then narrowed the free unlimited access to superchargers through a referral program and only to buyers of performance versions of the Model S, Model X and Model 3. The free unlimited supercharger referral program is now set to end September 18.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has called the perk “unsustainable,” has brought back the perk several times since to drive sales. In August 2019, the company resurrected the benefit in an effort to boost sales of its more expensive electric vehicles.