Tesla has confirmed that it will soon increase the price of its Model S electric sedan -- but the company hasn't yet disclosed by how much the price will rise. However, Tesla did confirm that some features that were previously standard on the Model S will become paid options.
The Tesla Model S is an all-electric sedan built in southern California by billionaire visionary Elon Musk. The car won both our 2013 Automobile of the Year award and Motor Trend's 2013 Car of the Year honor. Prices currently range from $57,400 for an entry model with a 40-kWh battery pack (before any tax rebates), to $105,400 for the loaded Signature Performance model with an 85-kWh battery.
Tesla confirmed in a blog post that it will raise prices on the cars in the near future, but noted that customers who have already placed a reservation for the electric car won't have to pay the higher price. Musk told us in August that over 12,000 people had placed a $5000 deposit for a Model S. Only customers who order after the price increases take effect will be locked into the higher prices.
When the price increases take effect, Tesla may also reorganize the car's equipment list. Tesla warns that some items that are currently standard on the Model S may become paid options. That could mean a double-whammy when prices increase, as customers must not only pay a higher entry price, but must also cough up extra for features that used to be included for free.
It's unclear why Tesla plans to increase Model S prices so early in the car's production run. The decision could be a big to increase profitability on the electric sedan, or could be a reflection of higher than anticipated customer demand. But raising prices would seem unlikely to help Tesla reach its publicly stated goal of selling 20,000 cars in 2013.
Tesla's blog post says the company will announce the new prices and options lists within two to three weeks.