The recent history of Tesla and its current lineup of electronic cars had been full of ups and downs. They promised a change in e-vehicle trends by offering their Model 3 sedan, revealed in 2017, for the then unheard-of price of $35,000 which was the lowest yet for an electric-powered automobile. Unfortunately they kept all orders for the baseline Model 3 in the back burner while prioritizing the manufacture of variants that had more added features and thus bigger price tags. Not until this year did the $35K Model 3 finally start rolling out. By then, Tesla founder Elon Musk has something new to introduce.
The Verge reports that Elon Musk revealed the Model Y, a new Tesla SUV, in their Design Center Hawthorne, California the evening of Thursday, March 14. While it is an SUV that can seat up to seven people, its contours and performance is said to be more than what can be expected from that type. Musk himself describes it as thus, “It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car.” Tesla hopes to have the Model Y go into full production by next year.
Specs-wise, the Model Y will, similar to the Model 3 sedan by this point, be divided into several variants. There is the midline model, which has a single-charge capacity of 300 miles and priced at $47,000 which would arrive in the first half of 2020. Then there is the $60,000 high-end model which seems to have the same range but can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. The $47K variant in turn can be upgraded with dual motors for all-wheel drive, and be sold at $51,000. Finally, the baseline version only has a 230-mile charge range, and is priced at $37,000. But it will take until 2021 to roll it out.
On interesting thing of note is that the Tesla Model Y seems similar to the Model 3, only made roomier. They apparently share components too. This approach might help drive down costs on Tesla’s resources in manufacturing the Model Y in the future. They certainly needed it. Earlier this year they attempted to compensate for the rollout of the $35,000 Model 3 by closing almost all their retail stores and focusing on selling cars online. Severe public backlash had them reverse this decision, though now their prices are high again.
Musk claims that the Model Y is more “feature-complete” than the Model 3, but that more functionality will be added in eventual software updates. The compact SUV will also employ self-driving capacity in the future.
Image courtesy of Business Insider