Tesla Model Y



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Sunday March 17, 2019 Tesla Model Y - On Thursday night I watched the live stream of the Tesla Model Y reveal.  The event was much less flashy than earlier Tesla reveals with the rollout of the Model Y seemingly an afterthought to a long ramble by Elon Musk on the history of Tesla.  Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that Tesla is going to have another hit on their hands.

The model Y is classified as a mid-sized SUV although I would call it a crossover myself.  Some journalist described the car as a taller Model 3 and I think that just about sums up the looks.  Those that were expecting something very different in the Model Y were disappointed and Tesla's stock price took a hit because of that.  The fact is that the Model Y is built on the same platform as the Model 3 and will share something like 75% of parts.  This is what large automakers do and it will help Tesla avoid the sort of production hell that they saw with the model 3.

The model Y will come in three trim levels.  The Long Range and Performance trims are scheduled to go on sale in the fall of 2020 and Tesla has now opened its ordering system to allow people to place orders for these two trim levels.  Orders will require a $2,500 deposit.  It should be noted that these are actual orders not reservations like we saw for the Model 3.  The Standard trim level vehicle is not scheduled for production until the spring of 2021.  It should be noted that Tesla has historically missed their delivery targets so these dates are subject to change.

The Long Range Model Y is expected to get 300 miles of range on the EPA estimates.  Unlike most companies Tesla doesn't overhype range so I expect this to be the minimum likely value once the EPA numbers come out. The car will have a top speed of 130mph and will go from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds.  There will also be a dual motor version of the car providing all wheel drive.  This will drop the range down to 280 miles but adds 5 mph to the top speed at 135mph, and reduce 0-60 time to 4.8 seconds.

The Performance version will also take a hit on range coming in at 280 miles on a charge.  Top speed will hit 150 mph and it will be able to go from 0-60 mph in a neck snapping 3.5 seconds.


Prices for the Long Range model start at $47,000 while the Performance model starts at $60,000.  Of course these are the prices for the base models which only come in black paint.  If you want the car in another color then Tesla charges and extra $2,000 to $2,500.  Auto Pilot is a $3,000 option and to get fully autonomous driving, when it becomes available, will add another $5,000 to the price.  One surprise for me was the inclusion of option third row seating.  

The Standard Range trim level, when it becomes available, will start at $39,000.  It will offer a range of 230 miles which puts it right in the same ballpark as the Chevy Bolt and many of the other all electric crossovers currently starting to appear on the market.  It will hit a top speed of 120 mph and will go from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds.  

Tesla says that the Model Y has been designed with safety in mind and they expect that it will get the same five star ratings as the Model 3.  It will come with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot warning as standard.

Elon Musk said that he expects Tesla to sell more Model Ys than Model 3 and Model X combined.  This is the type of vehicle that people want to drive today.  The question is can Tesla deliver close to their target date and will they manage to ramp up volume quickly unlike what they did with the Model 3.  I think that they will come through this time as they don't have the huge learning curve with this model that they had with the model 3.


 Despite the naysayers who seem to want to see Tesla fail, I think they have a winner here.  The decision to build off the Model 3 platform was a good one and should allow them to ramp up production much faster this time around.  They have time to take risks with new designs once they have a good solid customer base for the Model Y.  Later this year they are going to launch a pickup truck which may see new design cues as this would be a good time to add more variety into the lineup.

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