Tesla's cheapest car just became a lot more difficult to buy

Tesla Model 3Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Tesla is closing many of its retail stores, but if you want to buy the cheapest car the company offers, you'll have to find one that's still open - or hop on the phone.

In a blog post Thursday evening, the electric car maker said it's removing the standard range option for the Model 3, which was announced in February, from its website ordering options.

Tesla Model 3 optionsSR+ was the cheapest option for Model 3 batteries on Tesla's website Friday morning.Tesla

"Model 3 Standard will now be a software-limited version of the Standard Plus, and we are taking it off the online ordering menu, which just means that to get it, customers will need to call us or visit any one of the several hundred Tesla stores," Tesla said, adding that deliveries of the car will begin "this weekend."

Despite some high profile store closings in Texas, Washington D.C. and New York, hundreds of Tesla retail locations are still open, according to the company's website.

Read more: Elon Musk just emailed all Tesla employees to address 'uncertainty' around the company's plan to close stores

Tesla is also making big changes to its autopilot program, it said in the blog post. Autopilot, the company's semi-autonomous-driving technology, will become a standard feature as part of an effort to make it less cost-prohibitive.

"We think including Autopilot is very important because our data strongly indicates that the chance of an accident is much lower when Autopilot is enabled," Tesla said

Do you work for Tesla? Have a story to share? Get in touch with this reporter at grapier@businessinsider.com. Secure contact methods are available here.

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