Tesla's Premium Connectivity Features to Cost $10 a Month

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【Summary】Tesla’s tiers of features, Standard Connectivity and Premium Connectivity, will go into effect at the end of the year and require consumers wanting premium features to fork over $10 a month.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Dec 16, 2019 9:00 AM PT
Tesla's Premium Connectivity Features to Cost $10 a Month

As a collective entity, the automotive industry has shied away from monthly subscriptions fees for cars. Besides SiriusXM and Wi-Fi hot spot, there are very few other features that require consumers to pay a monthly fee. A lot of journalists and owners chastised BMW's decision to offer Apple CarPlay for an annual fee at first and then once again when the automaker switched to a monthly plan. It wasn't going well for the brand, because it recently decided to make the smartphone integration, including Android Auto, free.

Tesla Creates Monthly Subscription Plan

It looks like Tesla wasn't paying attention to BMW's decisions or feels like there's enough interest from consumers to pay a monthly fee, because it's going to start charging one. As Interesting Engineering reports, Tesla will charge $9.99 a month for its Premium Connectivity suite of features for consumers that purchased an electric vehicle after July 1, 2018.

As the outlet claims, Standard Connectivity has the standard stuff you'd expect from an expensive vehicle: navigation, media over Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi enabled software updates. That stuff is free on every Tesla. The Premium Connectivity suite adds things like live traffic visualization, maps with a satellite view, and in-car video streaming like Netflix and YouTube.

For new owners that purchase a Model S, X, or 3 with the "premium interior," they'll get a free one-year trial of Premium Connectivity. Purchasing a Model 3 with the "standard" or "partial premium interior" will get a 30-day trial period of the Premium Connectivity suite at no optional cost.

$10 Probably Won't Scare Consumers Away

If you hopped on board the Tesla train before July 2018, you'll be able to access the Premium Connectivity suite of features for free throughout the vehicle's entire lifetime. If that seems a little unfair, it kind of is. But from Tesla's standpoint, it's all about the cost of having to manage more data. Instead of raising the prices of its vehicles, Tesla believes that a $10 monthly fee is a better way to get some funds to deal with the high cost of dealing with data.

With the high price of Teslas, we're sure the majority of owners won't grumble about a $10 fee. But if you want things like YouTube (without ads) and Netflix, you'll have to pony over more money. With a few subscription services, consumers could easily see themselves paying $300 a month to access all of the features in the Premium Connectivity suite.

The change won't disturb too many consumers interested in purchasing a Tesla. But it could set the standard for the rest of the industry. Other automakers will undoubtedly be look at how well Tesla does with the monthly fee. If it goes well, we wouldn't be surprised to see other automakers introduce a monthly fee of their own for extra features.

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