Electric car maker Tesla has lowered the cost of an IT upgrade to its vehicles following outcry from owners of older models.
The company announced the upgrade of “Hardware 3.0” to $ 1,500 (€ 1,270) as well as a new subscription pricing model for its so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) package.
Tesla vehicles built since mid-2019 have included the Computer Hardware 3.0, meaning owners of older vehicles running the company’s Hardware 2.0 or 2.5 had to pay for the upgrade.
Critics of the move say Tesla vehicles have been advertised as having the necessary hardware for FSD since at least 2016.
A article published on the Tesla website on October 19 of the same year, states that “from today all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory – including the Model 3 – will have the necessary equipment for full autonomous driving capability at a level of significantly higher safety than that of a human driver “.
Tesla owner Kyle Maynard bought his Tesla Model 3 in December 2018. His car is currently equipped with Tesla’s older generation 2.5 hardware, which means he would have to pay an upgrade to access the features. FSD of the vehicle.
Maynard told Euronews Next that he believes the company’s early supporters were being unfairly punished by the move.
“We bought when it wasn’t clear Tesla was going to survive and now people are getting the right stuff in their cars at no extra cost,” he said.
Tesla, which was founded in 2003, had a market capitalization of around 52 billion euros as of December 2018. As of July 2021, the company’s shares are worth more than ten times that amount, or around 540 billion euros.
“I think that changes my mind a bit. They were struggling and couldn’t afford to be generous. Now they’re pretty flush and the Model 3 is a big part of it,” Maynard said.
“It would be nice to help early adopters of their biggest product.”
Is the subscription the future?
The company may have changed its mind. Tuesday was reported by industry website Electrek that some Tesla drivers in North America were offered a lower hardware upgrade price of $ 1,000 (€ 850).
Euronews Next has asked Tesla to comment on the pricing decision but has not received a response.
The company reportedly closed its press office last year, according to internal sources.
Despite the bumpy start, some experts believe Tesla’s subscription pricing model could prove to be a financial success.
A note released Tuesday by investment analysts Morgan Stanley said that “it is possible that the value of Tesla’s recurring software revenue exceeds the value of its hardware business.”
The company also expressed surprise at the cost of Tesla’s monthly FSD subscription package, calling the $ 199 (€ 169) fee “substantially higher than we expected.”
Previous issues in Germany
Tesla’s self-driving claims have already put it in hot water in Europe.
In July last year, a German court in Munich banned Tesla from including the terms “full potential for autonomous driving” and “autopilot included” in its German marketing campaigns.
The Bavarian court sided with the German Wettbewerbszentrale, an automobile industry body responsible for combating anti-competitive practices.
According to the Reuters news agency, the court said such claims were misleading and risked giving customers the false impression that Tesla’s cars were both capable of fully autonomous driving and that such a system would be legal for use in Germany.
FSD is currently not available in Europe after the European Commission found last year that the company’s autonomous driving technology did not comply with regulations.