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Tesla will stop selling Model S and X cars with 75kWh batteries

It's shuffling its lineup on January 13th.
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AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Tesla isn't done streamlining its electric car lineup. Elon Musk has announced that his company will stop taking orders for the 75kWh versions of the Model S and Model X after January 13th. He didn't directly explain the move, but said "yes" when a Twitter user asked if Tesla was moving away from its longstanding use of battery capacity numbers to denote variants.

Musk didn't say whether or not there would be replacements or price drops to fill in the gap. We've asked Tesla for comment.

If the starter Model S and X models disappeared with no rough equivalent in place, that would raise the starter prices by $15,000 or more, to $84,750 (from $66,750) and $87,950 (from $72,950) respectively. That could rule them out for some buyers -- you'd have to buy a Model 3 if you wanted a Tesla EV under $80,000. That would simplify production, though, and might spur Model 3 sales as Tesla gradually shifts its focus toward new buyers.

However, Musk's reply suggests it might be more a matter of rethinking trim levels than dropping them entirely. As with the Model 3, you might buy a car more based on how you intend to drive (Long Range or Performance, for example) than picking a battery capacity. It's potentially easier to understand for newcomers to EVs, and might convince some buyers to spring for a more expensive package.

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