Tesla on Thursday started leasing out its Model 3 sedan in the United States, in a financing option that would increase the electric car maker’s customer base.
Tesla said its customers in the United States would be able to lease any Model 3 variant for a small down payment and monthly payments thereafter, but they will not have the option to buy the car at the end of the lease.
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Tesla said that it would begin bundling its autopilot software as a standard feature on all cars, raising the base price, and would drop the entry-level Model 3 Standard from online ordering.
As a result, the lowest-priced Model 3 available for order on its online menu in the United States is now the $39,500 Standard Plus, which includes Autopilot.
Tesla prepares to offer Model 3 leasing to boost demand
The company in February had rolled out its long-awaited $35,000 version of the car with great fanfare.
The company also said the Standard variant of Model 3 will now be a software-limited version of the Standard Plus, to simplify production.
As part of the changes to its online ordering, Tesla said the Model 3 Standard variant and the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive will be taken off the online ordering menu but will still be available for order by phone or in stores.