In the USA 10,000 dollars, in Germany 7,500 euros: Tesla is currently charging this price from buyers or owners of its electric cars if, in addition to the basic autopilot, they also have the option FSD (Full Self-Driving, in German as “full potential for autonomous driving”) designated) want to have. Some bought this extra years ago when it cost a little less, but the implementation of the promise of autonomy is a long time coming. Several times, CEO Elon Musk has therefore been asked to make the expensive option available at least when switching to a new Tesla – and now he has at least shown signs of rethinking this issue.
Musk responds to persistent analysts
Musk was actually only approached on Saturday about a partial aspect of this topic: the well-known analyst Pierre Ferragu complained that he had offered Tesla his Model 3 with FSD for trade-in because he wanted to switch to a Model Y. He was then told by the responsible Tesla employees that the option did not play a role in the evaluation of his Model 3 – after all, switching it on does not cost the company anything. “Should I pay the full price for FSD again? That’s not fair, change that! ”Ferragu wrote to Musk.
The CEO himself did not initially comment, but several Twitter commentators gave Ferragu the tip to sell his Tesla on the open market instead. In this case, all purchased software extras are retained, including FSD. But that does not offer a real way out, the analyst explained, and other Twitterers agreed: Not every used buyer is willing to pay the high price for the option, which so far only partially lives up to its promise.
And after Ferragu repeated his message to Musk twice more on Saturday on Sunday – along with the announcement that he would not give up – the Tesla boss actually reacted to it. At the same time, he sounded accommodating as he had probably never sounded on this topic: “We’re going to take a look. Clearly, the value of FSD should be reasonably taken into account when making trade-ins, ”he wrote.
Short-term benefit for Tesla – right?
Initially, this only referred to the special case of trade-ins, but was, perhaps a little prematurely, understood as a possible relenting of any Tesla switch. Many owners would prefer, after their comments on Twitter, if FSD would belong to them personally by paying for the option, not to the vehicle. A model for this can be found in smartphones: if you buy software from Apple’s App Store, for example, you can continue to use it on a new iPhone without having to pay for it again.
For Tesla, on the other hand, the current regulation seems to be the best commercially in the short term: FSD is sold at the high prices mentioned and then deactivated when a vehicle comes back in order to be able to demand a surcharge for the option from the next buyer. But as can be seen from the Twitter reactions, this practice causes some displeasure among customers – and it affects particularly loyal ones who want another after their current Tesla. It was also read several times that they are now preventing some from ticking the expensive box at FSD – or from buying a new Tesla at all.