While the concept of subscription services for vehicle features has faced criticism in the past, automakers seem determined to explore this business model. One of the first companies to propose such an idea was BMW, although it faced intense backlash from the online community and ultimately decided against it. However, this setback hasn’t dissuaded other brands from considering similar initiatives, including Tesla.
New information uncovered by a hacker known as GreenTheOnly suggests that upcoming Tesla vehicles may offer subscription features. GreenTheOnly analyzed the software update for Tesla’s 2023.38.8 version and discovered paywalled options for heated front seats and heated windshield wipers on new models. Additionally, the hacker found evidence of a software-locked battery capacity for the Standard Range trim of the Model Y SUV, potentially allowing for greater production efficiency across different trim levels.
It should be noted that Tesla has previously offered premium features behind paywalls. Previous examples include charging for footwell lights on the Model 3 and providing additional battery capacity for older Model S and X vehicles. Even heated seats were once subject to a paywall before being removed.
However, these findings are not definitive. InsideEVs, the initial source of this information, suggests that Tesla might be lowering the base price of the Model 3 to maintain eligibility for price-based tax incentives. By offering certain features as optional subscriptions, Tesla could prioritize affordability while still providing customers with the opportunity to enjoy additional services.
We have contacted Elon Musk for a comment on these recent discoveries and will update the article accordingly once we receive a response. In the meantime, it appears that the automotive industry is continuing to explore alternative revenue streams and customer preferences through subscription-based offerings.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What are subscription services for vehicle features?
A: Subscription services for vehicle features allow customers to pay a recurring fee to access certain functionalities or enhancements in their vehicles, usually through software updates.
Q: Why did BMW face backlash for proposing subscription services?
A: BMW faced criticism from the online community because many people believed that certain features, such as heated seats, should be included as standard in premium vehicles instead of being monetized separately.
Q: Does Tesla already offer subscription services?
A: Tesla has previously offered subscription-based access to features like Full Self-Driving capability and Premium Connectivity, but the potential introduction of subscription options for heated seats and other functionalities on upcoming models is still unconfirmed.
Q: How might subscription features benefit Tesla?
A: Offering features as optional subscriptions can help Tesla maintain affordability by reducing the base price of their vehicles while still allowing customers to enjoy additional services on-demand.
Q: Is the hacker GreenTheOnly reliable?
A: While GreenTheOnly’s findings have proven accurate in the past, it is important to note that their discoveries are not official confirmation and should be treated as speculative until Tesla provides official statements or releases software updates.