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Tesla To Start Charging For ‘Premium’ Internet On New Vehicles: Will You Be Affected?

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Perhaps one of the greatest things about Tesla's electric car lineup — aside from the self-driving Autopilot feature, of course — is that they can connect to the internet at no extra cost to the user.

Since the Model S first became available in 2012, Tesla has boasted about the internet connectivity aspect of its cars. The company relies on this capability to deliver software updates and update live traffic data, and it also enables access to maps and streaming services. While it has always been standard for Tesla vehicles to get internet features, that will soon change. The automaker is rolling out a paid "premium connectivity" package for those who want to access internet from their vehicles.

The change shouldn't come as a surprise, however. In 2014, CEO Elon Musk said that internet connectivity on Tesla cars would only be live for four years, and now with the announcement of the premium plans, everything seems just right on schedule.

Existing Tesla Owners Exempt From New Internet Pricing

Existing Tesla owners shouldn't fret, however. Those who already own one of the company's vehicles, or are planning to buy a Model S, Model X, or Model 3 before July 1, will never have to pay to get internet access. Those who purchase Tesla vehicles after July 1, however, will be given two choices: Premium Connectivity package or Standard Connectivity package.

Tesla Internet Plans Explained

Standard Connectivity comes at no extra cost, of course, but in this plan, the internet may only be used for apps that aren't too heavy on data. That means while Standard Connectivity user get access to Tesla's navigation system, they won't enjoy live traffic or satellite map data. The routing system will still provide information that'll instruct users how to get from point A to point B, but they won't get dynamic traffic views along their commute. For updates, Standard Connectivity users will have to connect their car to a Wi-Fi network, except for crucial emergency rollouts, which is free regardless of a Tesla owner's internet plan.

Premium Connectivity users, on the other hand, get all the features Standard Connectivity users enjoy, and a bunch of other extras as well, including live traffic and media streaming. It is expected to cost $100 annually, as Electrek reports.

Tesla is offering a year's worth of premium subscription for free for any customer who buys an eligible vehicle on or after July 1. Those who already have plans to buy a Tesla, get on this quick.

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