Vehicles | July 26, 2022 6:00 am

Tesla Made a Significant Change to Its Basic Connectivity Package

Basic connectivity will now be free for eight years only

Tesla logo
Some changes are on the horizon for longtime Tesla drivers.
VCG via Getty Images

If you’ve driven a Tesla vehicle, you’ve probably made use of their connectivity services. The features covered by this include everything from highly relevant features for a road trip, such as traffic visualization in real time, to more whimsical things, such as a built-in karaoke system.

Currently, Tesla offers connectivity services at “Standard” and “Premium” levels, with the former covering navigation and the latter incorporating a much larger array of functions. And, as Autoblog pointed out in a recent article, Tesla is about to start charging for the standard tier — though it’s going to take a while to kick in. The change, Autoblog reports, went into effect on July 20.

If you bought your car after that date, connectivity will no longer be something that’s free in perpetuity. Instead, Tesla’s page on connectivity notes that “Standard Connectivity is included in your vehicle, at no additional cost, for eight years” if purchased new. If the Tesla was bought used, “you will be notified of how long your vehicle will include access” to the feature.

As Autoblog’s article points out, this will be moot for many Tesla drivers, who have opted for the premium tier of connectivity. (That’s not surprising, given that it’s currently $9.99 a month.) But it does seem like the potential exists for more confusion among Tesla drivers, especially as more cars reach the eight-year threshold and drivers are faced with a big question as to how one of their car’s systems will operate.

“A previously free service is no longer free” has been something of a running theme for technology companies this year. Last month, Google found itself in the spotlight when some longtime small business users learned that services that had historically been free were now going to be at a premium. Will the phenomenon continue?