Tesla to begin charging for basic connectivity services after eight years

Tesla makes some of the most advanced and tech-rich vehicles today, but that functionality comes at a cost. The automaker’s vehicles are expensive, and to maintain the technology over time, some buyers pay a monthly subscription to access certain services. Tesla offered a basic connectivity service for free, but that’s changing going forward. The automaker will offer free Standard Connectivity for the first eight years of ownership and will begin charging a subscription fee after that.

July 20, 2022, was the cutoff date for free lifetime connectivity. Buyers now have eight years of service from the date of purchase and then must pay a monthly or annual subscription fee. Standard service is the lower of two connectivity tiers that Tesla offers. It includes navigation but lacks live traffic, video streaming, and other features from the Premium tier, which already costs $99 per year. Most people upgrade to the Premium features, so this won’t be a massive change for many buyers.

While many like switching between new cars every few years, people tend to hold on to cars for longer than eight years. iSeeCars found that people keep cars for 8.4 years on average, so there’s a chance that owners will start running into the service cutoff in their long-owned Tesla. At the same time, technology is evolving rapidly, so it will be interesting to see if the average ownership time changes.

People may be tempted to switch cars for new tech and features, but automakers are working to make their vehicles as long-lasting as possible. Over-the-air updates (OTA) allow car companies to add new features, improve existing systems, and extend the life of a tech-forward car. Whether they can add enough to keep a vehicle interesting for eight years or more is yet to be seen, though Tesla works to add functionality like new driving modes, pet parking modes, and even games through OTAs.


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