The new Model X. Source: tesla.com

Electric car maker Tesla has unveiled massive price cuts to its premium models, the Model S and the Model X over the weekend, following news that it would be closing down stores and only selling its groundbreaking electric cars online.

Last week was a significant week for Tesla and the electric car world as a whole: first the EV pioneer released its base Model 3 all-electric sedan priced at $US35,000 ($A49,330 at current exchange rates, plus import and on road costs) onto the US market.

Then, CEO and founder Elon Musk followed up with an announcement via social media channel Twitter that it would be cutting prices of its whole range.

Over the weekend, Tesla updated pricing over the weekend on its website, including in Australia, with the main feature being the departure of the 100D and P100D versions, and a new option of “standard range” for the flagship Model S sedan.

This is significant.

Since cutting the 75D variants of both models in January 2019, only the Long Range and Performance 100D versions have been available in Australia. This left both the Model S and Model X only available in the 100D and P100D.

There have been rumours that Tesla would replace the 75D variants with a cheaper version of both models using a software-limited version with 100kWh battery.

A spokesperson from Tesla Australia has confirmed with The Driven, that neither the 100D nor the P100D are now available.

Instead, there are now what the electric car maker refers to only as the Long Range and Performance variants of the Model S and Model X, as well as the Standard Range Model S.

Updated ranges (NEDC rating) for the Model S and Model Xs are:

  • Model S Standard Range – 520km
  • Model S Long Range – 632km
  • Model S Performance – 613km
  • Model X Long Range – 565km
  • Model X Performance – 542km

The big question is: what batteries do they use? While the Model 3 currently uses 2170 battery packs and there has been speculation that Tesla would upgrade the Model S and X with these also.

However, Tesla’s spokesperson has confirmed with The Driven that the new Model S and X versions will still use the 18650 Panasonic battery cells that have been used in the Model X and S since 2013.

With regards to pricing, the reduced prices of the new Model S and X are significantly less than that of the 100D and P100D – up to 33 per cent in some cases.

The drive away pricing for the Standard Range Model S is now, based on NSW charges and fees, $A135,390. It has 520km range based on NEDC ratings, a top speed of 225km.hr and accelerates from 0-100km/hr in 4.4 seconds.

According to previous prices on carsales.com.au, the following changes in pricing have been applied to the 100D and P100D variants of the Model S:

  • Previous pricing for the 2018 Tesla Model S P100D was $245,800 drive away in NSW ($233,055 excl govt charges);
  • The new Performance Model S is $162,165 after incentives (electric cars qualify for a reduced luxury car tax) and petrol savings (Tesla assumes a $2,300 saving over 5 years, according to its website) on the Tesla Australia configurator;
  • This means that the Performance Model S is $A164,465 drive away if bought in NSW, amounting to a saving of a $81,335 or around 33 per cent.
  • Previous pricing for the 2018 Tesla Model S 100D was $173,550 drive away in NSW ($164,155 excl govt charges);
  • The new Long Range Model S is $140,050 after incentives (electric cars qualify for a reduced luxury car tax) and petrol savings (Tesla assumes a $2,300 saving over 5 years, according to its website) on the Tesla Australia configurator;
  • This means that the Long Range Model S is $A142,350 drive away if bought in NSW, amounting to a saving of $31,200 or around 18 per cent.

And, according to previous prices on carsales.com.au, the following changes in pricing have been applied to the 100D and P100D variants of the Model X:

  • Previous pricing for the 2018 Tesla Model X P100D was $255,900 drive away NSW ($242,675 excl govt charges);
  • The new Performance Model X is $167,225 after incentives (electric cars qualify for a reduced luxury car tax) and petrol savings (Tesla assumes a $4,200 saving over 5 years, according to its website) on the Tesla Australia configurator;
  • This means that the Performance Model X is now $A171,425 drive away if bought in NSW, amounting to a saving of $84,475 or around 33 per cent.
  • Previous pricing for the 2018 Tesla Model X 100D was $181,780 drive away in NSW ($172,085 excl gov charges);
  • The new Long Range Model X is $147,025 after incentives (electric cars qualify for a reduced luxury car tax) and petrol savings (Tesla assumes a $4,200 saving over 5 years, according to its website) on the Tesla Australia configurator;
  • This means that the Long Range Model X is $A151,225 drive away if bought in NSW, amounting to a saving of $34,755 or nearly 20 per cent.

The price drops have drawn complaints from some Tesla customers, who had already paid a higher price for the Model X and Model S.

Musk responded by offering a reduction in price for Autopilot and self-driving capabilities:

Achieving the base model price has been a long held goal for Musk, whose plan to upturn the automotive industry, cutting transport-based emissions and bringing electric vehicles to the masses started from the top.

By first introducing the original Roadster, then the premium Model S and Model X, Tesla have penetrated and disrupted the auto market ensuring that electric cars will now forever be a presence on the world’s roads.

The premium versions of its “mass-market” Model 3 electric sedan have already become the best-seller in its class in the US in 2018 and the 11th most sold car in the US of all time.

The EV maker has worked solidly towards cost-cutting measures to bring prices down, some controversial – such as cutting staff by 7 per cent and closing down stores to implement an online-only sales strategy.

Regarding possible closures of Australian Tesla showrooms, Tesla’s spokesperson was not able to provide any further information at this time but we will keep you up-to-date as news comes to hand.

Correction: The Long Range Model X driveaway pricing has been updated to the correct amount at time of publishing of $A151,225.

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