FSD Adoption Rate Stalled and People Think It's Time for Tesla To Reconsider Pricing

Is Tesla FSD Beta capability worth paying for? 7 photos
Photo: @niccruzpatane, @WholeMarsBlog via X
Tesla rolls FSD Beta V12.1.2 to customersTesla rolls FSD Beta V12.1.2 to customersTesla rolls FSD Beta V12.1.2 to customersTesla rolls FSD Beta V12.1.2 to customersTesla rolls FSD Beta V12.1.2 to customersTesla rolls FSD Beta V12.1.2 to customers
During the Q4 2023 earnings call, Elon Musk revealed that 400,000 EVs in North America currently have access to Tesla's FSD Beta software. This is the same number we know from previous years, making people wonder why Tesla failed to enroll more people into the program. As expected, people started questioning Tesla FSD pricing.
Tesla is promising cars that drive themselves for more years than I can remember, with more optimistic timelines each year. Tesla's Full Self Driving software was marred in controversies until the EV maker decided to admit it was no autonomous driving software but a mere driver assistance system. This, of course, rattled die-hard Tesla fans who consider FSD Beta good enough for a broader adoption.

Despite these shortcomings, Tesla sells the FSD Beta capability for a cool $12,000 in the US or 7,500 euros ($8,145) in Europe. Only customers in the US can access FSD Beta with a $199 subscription, leaving all others with a tough decision: pay for the software in full, knowing that you might never use it, or wait until it gets good enough to be used without restrictions.

To illustrate how hard it is to choose, it's enough to say that some people paid for FSD Beta upfront but never got access to it. Worse, they knew they would never get to use FSD software. Tesla owners in Europe, for instance, have no timeline for when it might be released. Even some in the US might be out of luck.

Cybertruck owners, for instance, cannot use FSD Beta because it is still unavailable on Tesla's pickup truck. Tesla hasn't offered any estimates on when it might happen. When Hardware 4 launched on the refreshed Model S and Model X in 2023, people had to wait months before basic features like Vision Park Assist became available. FSD support came even later, in September 2023. Some might say the wait was worth it, but not in all cases.

Tesla rolls FSD Beta V12\.1\.2 to customers
Photo: @niccruzpatane via X
Tesla doesn't allow transferring the FSD license to a new vehicle; you have to buy it again if you replace your car. If your Tesla is written off in an accident, the FSD Beta capability simply disappears with it. As you can see, the FSD Beta is a poor investment, hardly justifying its steep price. For a Tesla Model Y RWD with the tax credit, this represents one-third of the car's price.

Some argue that paying upfront for the FSD Beta allows you to roll the costs into the monthly payments. Still, at 6.5%, this means $282 extra on a 48-month finance contract. It is hardly a wise choice, considering you can subscribe to FSD for $199 in the US. The best part about a subscription is that you can close it when you sell your car and start another on a new vehicle.

The fact that Tesla still talks about the 400,000 EVs with FSD in North America is puzzling. These are the same numbers as the years before, showing that it hasn't convinced more customers to pay for this feature. To further support this, the shareholder deck graphics show that the number of cumulative miles driven on FSD has risen linearly since March 2023.

The situation is discussed by Tesla fans, who don't seem to understand why there aren't more people willing to pay for FSD Beta. The problem is simple: subscription or financing, the FSD Beta raises the price of a vehicle by a lot. Tesla had to significantly cut the prices of its cars to keep people interested. They are unwilling to pay more, especially for a feature still in development. What do you think: cutting the FSD price (and subscription) in half would be enough to convince people to buy it? Let us know in the Comments section below.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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