• Luxury electric car now available for $66,000 before credits
  • Sedan with 60 kilowatt-hour battery discontinued last year

Tesla Motors Inc. is bringing back a 60 kilowatt-hour version of its Model S sedan that costs less than the one it discontinued last year as the electric-car maker seeks to increase sales before the arrival of its smaller Model 3.

The new Model S 60 begins at $66,000 before federal or state incentives and can travel 208 miles (335 kilometers) per charge, the electric-car maker said Thursday. The previous 60-kWh car, introduced in 2012, started at $69,900.

Tesla received 373,000 deposits for the Model 3 car, which is scheduled to begin deliveries in late 2017 with a starting price of $35,000. Until then, Tesla still has to sell vehicles -- and consumers have let the Palo Alto, California-based company know that the Model S is still a reach for most wallets. Customers often pay more than $100,000 for the sedan, especially when equipped with the biggest battery and premium options.

“Bears may gravitate to the view that higher-end luxury demand is waning,” said Joseph Spak, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets who rates the shares sector perform. “A more neutral to positive view is that Tesla is expanding their addressable market.”

Tesla fell 0.8 percent to $233.69 at 10:46 a.m. New York time.

The company said it has heard from potential buyers who want a Model S but only at a more affordable price. Tesla is adding both a Model S 60 and a 60D -- the D designating all-wheel drive. The 60D begins at $71,000.

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The Model S 60 is now the least expensive Tesla available for delivery. Both versions come with Autopilot hardware, have the updated front fascia design and offer zero-to-60 acceleration in 5.5 seconds or less. The vehicle is available in all markets where Tesla now sells vehicles and the company said that a California consumer who orders one now would get it in six to eight weeks.

Colorado’s legislature passed a bill last month that sets a $5,000 credit for the purchase of an electric vehicle, the most generous state incentive in the U.S. Combined with a $7,500 federal tax credit, Coloradans could purchase the Model S 60 for as little as $53,500 before taxes, title and other fees.

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