Tesla offering new 70kWh owners the ability to upgrade their battery via software
Previously we reported that the Telsa Model S 70 kWh is getting an upgrade to a 75kWh battery. Apparently cars coming off the Fremont assembly line today will be installed with a 75kWh battery even if you ordered the 70kWh option. Tesla is limited the available capacity of the battery using software and providing owners the option of upgrading. Owners can pay $3000 to upgrade before delivery or $3250 after delivery.
While this may seem a strange practice for the automaker it is not without precedent at least with Tesla. When the Model S was introduced buyers were given 3 options a 40kWh, 60kWh, and 85kWh battery option. Due to lack of demand, only 4% of pre-orders were for the 40 kWh option, Tesla simply installed a 60kWh battery that was software limited and gave customers the option to upgrade for $10000. The 40kWh was quickly removed in April 2013 but there are a few on the road that could still be upgraded if their current or future owners desired.
Tesla also offered Supercharging capability for an extra cost (now it comes part of the standard equipment) and this option could be upgraded via a software update at any time in the future. More recently Autopilot is a software only upgrade as all hardware is included as standard equipment. For an extra $2500 before deliver or $3000 after delivery owners can enable this feature.
One Month Trial
Tesla is even currently offering a one month trial for owners to experience the software features and hopefully purchase it afterwards.
Tesla has never shied away from exploring innovative marketing approaches and this is just one such example. The big question is will Tesla continue the practice in the future in hopes that owners will upgrade the car even after delivery providing a source of revenue long after the original purchase. What do you think? Would you be willing to pay for software upgrade to extend the range of your car of unlock new and innovative features?