Why it matters: Existing Tesla vehicle owners may have been concerned that their free access to cellular internet would end this year based on statements the company made back in 2014, but Tesla is eliminating those concerns now. Current Tesla drivers will retain seemingly-permanent free access to cellular connectivity, but new customers will soon need to buy into a "Premium Connectivity package" to get the same privilege.
Tesla's premium all-electric vehicles have always been designed with luxury and convenience in mind, as evidenced by the cars' ever-growing suite of autopilot self-driving features, large "infotainment" screens for navigation or music playback, and several additional functions designed to enhance driver comfort.
One such luxury feature has been Tesla's free cellular connectivity, which has been a standard in the company's vehicles since 2012. Cellular connectivity allows drivers to browse the web and obtain live traffic data from virtually anywhere.
Unfortunately for prospective Tesla customers, the company is making a few changes to their free internet connectivity policy soon, as they said they would back in 2014. However, these changes won't work quite like some may have anticipated.
In 2014, Tesla claimed cellular connectivity would only be free for four years, after which all customers would have to pay for the privilege. Now, according to Electrek, the company will only require new Model 3, S, or X customers to pay for their data usage. Existing Tesla users will be grandfathered into the new "Premium Connectivity package" at no additional cost.
Speaking of connectivity packages, in addition to the aforementioned Premium service, which will reportedly cost around $100 per year, Tesla will also offer a free "Standard Connectivity package." This package will only let users access cellular data for essential apps, or apps that don't use much data.
The Premium package, on the other hand, will give users full access to seemingly unlimited data for any purpose, whether it be live traffic data, music streaming, or web browsing.
These changes are set to go into effect on July 1, according to Electrek, so if you've wanted to buy your own Tesla for a while, now is the time to do so.