Electric vehicle owners are a notoriously frugal bunch when it comes to paying for ‘extras’ such as gasoline.But soon Tesla drivers may be paying Elon Musk for each time they use extras normally taken for granted in Canadian winters — such as heated front seats and windshield wipers. And it’s all made possible because the Model 3 is essentially an extension of the driver’s mobile phone.According to noted Tesla hacker GreenTheOnly, the all-electric vehicle’s latest software update contains a user interface for an electric tolling mechanism to control cold weather features on upcoming model years starting in 2024..Tesla has reportedly used the tactic in the past to keep certain features behind a factor-locked paywall, including additional battery capacity in older Model S and X vehicles. More notoriously, it was forced to stop charging for heated rear seats in Model 3 variants — which also happen to be the most popular EVs sold in Canada.If so, it would be the first time Tesla has charged extra for heated front seats, or even windshield wipers for that matter. There’s also no guarantee or indication that the company is planning to do so.But analysts said Tesla is looking to lower costs on its already notoriously expensive production lines as it engages in a price war with the likes of Ford and GM. Typically in conventional cars that means skimping on ‘convenience’ extras such as the aforementioned seats, cabin lighting and sound systems.If so, it’s sure to dampen demand for already flagging sales of EVs generally. Although many are lured by lower fuel costs, JD Power notes that insurance is the second-largest outlay after the actual cost of the car itself..“Shoppers don't like complexity, and they hate to be confused. Weighting the economic implications of buying an EV can be more nuanced and requires different considerations, some of which are new to many shoppers.”Stewart Stropp, JD Power.In fact, fuel costs averaged about $500 a year for a typical driver compared to about $6,500 in insurance premiums.According to Stewart Stropp, JD’s executive director for EVs, understanding the total cost of the ownership proposition will be key to future sales, especially compared to traditional gasoline powered vehicles.“In an apples-to-apples environment, the process is straightforward,” he wrote. “Shoppers don't like complexity and they hate to be confused. Weighting the economic implications of buying an EV can be more nuanced and requires different considerations, some of which are new to many shoppers.”Like paying extra for heated windshield wipers.