Citing its own survival as the reason behind the decision, Tesla has bumped prices on all its Roadsters by at least $6,700. The electric car company is essentially charging customers for features that were previously offered as standard equipment.
"We want to have healthy margins on the car to guarantee the viability of the company," Tesla spokeswoman Rachel Konrad told Wired. "The margins are really important on this car for the next group of investors, whether it's public shareholders in an IPO, the federal government looking at federal loan candidates or the next group of venture capitalists."
The first 2008 Roadster was originally listed at $92,000. For 2009, Tesla has priced the car at $109,000. Konrad explained that customers can still receive the car at the original price but it will be missing a few extras.
These extras include a high-power connector, which is used to recharge the Roadster’s lithium-ion batteries in just over three hours. The special connector is now a $3,000 option and without it charge times can take up to 37 hours. Other items include forged-alloy wheels for $2,300, a SolarPlus wind shield for $400, and a new $1,000 destination charge.
Tesla has made no secret of its poor financial situation. Late last year the company underwent a major managerial reshuffle and was forced to layoff up to half of its staff. The company also hoped to seek up to $400 million in federal government aid as part of the Department of Energy’s $25 billion loan package designed to help American manufacturers create more efficient vehicles.