Tesla has lifted the price of its Full Self Driving package in Australia from $A8,500 to $A10,100.
Otherwise known as FSD, the package is an add-on to Tesla electric vehicles that will eventually lead to Level 4 autonomous driving that does not require human intervention – once regulators allow it.
The price rise was flagged by CEO and co-founder Elon Musk recently via Twitter, and Musk has also said in the past that as the FSD package becomes more “feature-complete” that the price of FSD would continue to rise (when first introduced in Australia it was at a price of $A7,100).
The price rise was applied on July 1, 2020, and is more or less in line with the US increase from $US7,000 to $US8,500.
The new pricing means that a Standard Range Plus (SR+) Model 3 in Australia with no options, but with FSD added, would cost around $A92,000.
FSD features, usually applied via over-the-air software updates, tend to be rolled out first in the US, then later in overseas markets including Australia.
The latest of these is the ability to proceed through stop signs and traffic lights in software update 2020.24.6.3 (as noted by TechAU’s Jason Cartwright), although Tesla has not yet updated its website to reflect this.
In the US, FSD currently includes (according to Tesla’s US website) Navigate on Autopilot (NoA), auto lane changing, autoparking, Summon (this means your parked car will come find you anywhere in a parking lot) and traffic light and stop sign control.
Nevertheless, the price hike has people asking if it is worth it or not. Musk said at Tesla’s Q1 2020 earnings call that he believes eventually having FSD will add $US100,000 value to a Tesla vehicle, but also said that by the end of 2020 Tesla would introduce a subscription model for those unable to afford the package upfront.
In Australia, where a luxury car tax (LCT) is added on to the sales price of a vehicle, some have noted that drivers are better off ordering the FSD package after taking delivery of their new Tesla vehicles to avoid adding the LCT to the price of the FSD package.
For example, the SR+ with FSD example above includes LCT, while removing the FSD package rules out the LCT tax altogether, saving $A2,388.
A new lifting of the LCT threshold for low and zero emissions vehicles will go some way to helping drivers avoid this altogether if buying at the same time as purchase, however.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.