Tesla may charge Model Y owners extra for additional range

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Tesla Model Y owners will have to pay more to get the full range of their cars’ batteries.

Elon Musk announced on Friday the company was in the midst of working through “regulatory approvals” to let people unlock additional range for the cars. The Model Y has been sold for months with a 260-mile range. He said in a post on Twitter/X the cars “actually have more range that can be unlocked.”

Musk said the price for unlocking this capability, which works out to another 40 to 60 miles of range, would likely cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

The “260 mile” range Model Y’s built over the past several months actually have more range that can be unlocked for $1500 to $2000 (gains 40 to 60 miles of range), depending on which battery cells you have.

Working through regulatory approvals to enable this. pic.twitter.com/6d5Ntekk01

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 4, 2024

When asked why the company would not just unlock this for owners for free, Musk replied, “We have to pay the bills somehow.”

The Model Y starts at $42,990 currently, though the price is lower for people who qualify for the federal EV tax credit.

Tesla has a history of limiting the range of its vehicles and extending them for a fee. In 2016, the company let Model S owners access extra capacity in their cars’ batteries for a $3,000 charge. The company has not announced if other vehicles, such as the Model X, also have untapped capacity in their batteries.

The automaker isn’t alone in these sorts of post-market charges. Mercedes in 2022 instituted a charge of $1,200 per year for faster acceleration of its Mercedes-EQ EQE and Mercedes-EQ EQS electric vehicles. That same year, BMW began charging South Korean customers $18 a month for heated seats, $10 per month for a heated steering wheel, and $8 per month for high-beam-assist headlights, a driver safety feature.

Automakers might be eager to make these post-market charges a part of the car-buying process, but consumers have been vocally opposed to them. A study from Cox Automotive found that three-quarters of consumers said they were not willing to pay an annual or monthly subscription fee for most items on their new vehicle.

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