In keeping with the German auto industry practice of hiding a lot of costs in option lists, Tesla has reportedly “unbundled” many of the features that typically come standard in the Model S, so as to allow the vehicle to qualify for the country’s new plug-in electric vehicle incentives.
When they went into effect earlier this year, Germany’s plug-in vehicle incentives were limited to vehicles selling for less than €60,000. Most in the industry recognized the qualification limit choice for what it was at the time — one chosen specifically to ensure that Tesla’s current offerings didn’t qualify, while most of the local manufacturers’ offerings did (partly owing to the common action of hiding a lot of vehicle costs in option lists). At the time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk referred to the limit choice as “arbitrary.”
In other words, all that Tesla has now done is follow the lead of the local luxury auto manufacturers themselves.
To be clear here, I fully understand the reasoning behind putting a cap on the price of the vehicles that qualify for the up to €4,000 in incentives — people wealthy enough to buy a $100,000 car certainly don’t need subsidization of their luxury preferences. But … the choice to place that limit at €60,000 really does seem intended to incentivize the sale of German offerings against Tesla’s. Why not put the limit at €30,000? Or €70,000? (Personally, I lean towards thinking €30,000 or €40,000 would be the best choice.)
Autoblog provides a bit more: “That means folks in Germany can get a Model S without amenities such as navigation, backup camera, seat-positioning memory, folding mirrors, and Internet radio. Those features can be acquired as part of Tesla’s new ‘Comfort Package.’ Without them, the Model S comes in at a hair under €60,000. Hey, whaddya know?”
I actually wouldn’t mind be able to forgo some of those “options” for a lower price myself. Too bad that it’s not an option in the US.