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Elon Musk: Tesla FSD Will Get “Crushingly Good” But Is the Steep Price Driving Customers Away?

Last Updated April 2, 2024 5:16 PM
Samantha Dunn
Last Updated April 2, 2024 5:16 PM
By Samantha Dunn
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Tesla’s FSD costs have tripled since 2019, costing more than $15,000 in the United States.
  • Elon Musk remains steadfast in his belief FSD’s high cost is justified by its potential to revolutionize driving.
  • The steep increase in FSD’s price has prompted varied reactions from consumers

Since its overhaul in 2019, Tesla’s FSD feature has seen a dramatic rise in cost. Originally offered at $5,000, the price has surged to $15,000 in the US with an even steeper increase to $19,500 in Canada.

These hikes have sparked discussions among consumers and investors alike about the affordability and accessibility of this advanced driving technology.

Elon Musk’s Assurance: FSD’s Quality Justifies the Cost

Elon Musk has always been confident about Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology, asserting its value despite the steep price increase. He recently responded to a Tweet  about Volkswagen offering test drives to customers in Germany, replying “most people still have no idea how crushingly good Tesla will get”.

At a shareholders’ meeting last year, Musk emphasized what he deems to be FSD’s the technological advancements and potential life-saving benefits. He portrayed the price as a reflection of its AI capabilities.

He said: “We’re solving a very important part of AI and one that can ultimately save millions of lives. And prevent 10 of millions of serious injuries by driving just an order of magnitude safer than people.”

Consumer Reactions: A Mixed Bag

The escalating cost of FSD has elicited a range of responses from Tesla owners and potential buyers. While some see the value in its features and potential for autonomous driving, others find the price hard to justify, especially when the technology remains in the beta phase. Social media and consumer polls reflect this divide, highlighting the debate over FSD’s cost versus its benefits.

One user commented: “Unpopular opinion from an allin Tesla investor: 200 per month is too much for a beta. maybe because we europeans have higher taxes and therefore less we can spend. As long as FSD is not level 3 or higher so it actually frees up my time while using the car, it doesn’t make sense to spend so much on it.”

Tesla’s Pricing Strategy

To help boost adoption, Elon Musk announced a free one-month trial of Tesla’s software for drivers in the US after 2 million vehicles were recalled in December 2024 over autopilot safety concerns.

Despite a recent price reduction in the US to $12,000, Tesla’s pricing strategy for FSD will be a driver for other competitors in the self-driving automotive industry. The company’s approach suggests a testing of the waters to determine how price adjustments impact consumer interest and adoption rates.

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