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Tesla launches more affordable Model S and Model X, but there’s a catch

Tesla has launched more affordable versions of its Model S sedan and Model X SUV in the U.S. and Canada, though they come with shorter driving ranges. Deliveries of the new vehicles will begin next month.

The new Model S “standard range” vehicles cost $78,490 and offer a range of up to 320 miles (515 kilometers), which is considerably shorter than the pricier regular dual-motor and tri-motor Plaid versions that feature a range of 405 miles and 396 miles, respectively, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the new Model X costs $88,490 and offers a 269-mile (433 kilometers) range, again, much shorter than the 348 miles (560 kilometers) offered by the more expensive variant.

Both of the new cars will come with the same battery and motors as the dual-motor variants that cost $10,000 more, but the performance and range of the more affordable options will be limited by software, a Tesla sales representative confirmed.

It’s hoped the more appealing price tags will appear to first-time EV buyers who up to now have been put off by the relatively high cost of such vehicles compared to alternatives.

Tesla’s latest move follows multiple rounds of price cuts across its models in a bid to maintain healthy sales in an increasingly competitive electric-vehicle market.

In its most recent financial report for the quarter ending June 30, Tesla delivered a record 466,140 vehicles globally, which came as a surprise to Wall Street as it had been expecting to see around 20,000 fewer shipments.

The Texas-based automaker delivered more than 1.3 million vehicles globally last year and is the leading EV maker in the U.S. But it’s facing increasing competition in its second-largest market, China, where local automakers like BYD enjoy a strong following.

In July, Tesla’s CEO said his company could continue to cut prices as people’s spending power comes under pressure due to a turbulent global economy, though at the time he made no mention of introducing the new Model S and Model X variants that appeared this week.

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Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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