Hybrids & Electrics

Tesla Model Y Prototype Spotted Testing in Public

The next Tesla that’s going to be released, the Model Y, was just spotted in public being tested by Tesla. This means that the Model Y is likely close to being put into production, as Tesla continues to iron out its kinks. Here’s a brief look at the Model Y and what it could mean for the future of Tesla.

Luxury to affordability

Just like with Tesla’s sedans, Tesla started by creating a luxurious and pricey SUV before developing a more affordable and practical one. The Model Y is similar to but very different from the Model X, which is Tesla’s luxury SUV. However, with a price tag that starts at about $84,000, the Model X is not affordable for most Americans.

This is, of course, a shame as Americans are in the middle of an SUV craze and in fact, SUVs sell better than sedans do in the U.S. The Model Y will start at about $39,000 according to InsideEVs, and that makes it far more affordable than the Model X. Indeed, the Model Y’s price will be competitive with other luxury SUVs, like the BMW X3

A more affordable SUV will mean that Tesla can tap into a market that it couldn’t reach before with its sedans. If people fall in love with the Model Y like they’ve fallen in love with other SUVs, then it could accelerate the spread of electric cars in the U.S. and around the world.

Practicality 

Like any other SUV, the Model Y is at its heart a practical vehicle. It can seat seven people and it has about 66 cubic feet of cargo room with its second-row seats folded down. These stats are similar to the Model X, but the Model Y is a smaller SUV so it doesn’t have as much cargo room as the Model X does.

On top of that, because of how its electric engine works, the Model Y, like the Model X, will probably have a pretty decent towing capacity. And, like most other Teslas, the Model Y will come with a large suite of smart features like keyless entry, Smart Summoning, and Sentry Mode for extra security.

One of the main reasons why the Model Y will be cheaper than the Model X is because of its smaller battery, but it’s by no means a short-range car. InsideEVs says that its standard battery will have a 230-mile range while the long-range trim will have a 300-mile range battery. This is slightly less than the ranges offered by the Model X.

And of course, due to its electric motor, the Model Y will have a pretty great acceleration as well as a decent top speed. InsideEVs says that the Model Y Performance trim can go from 0-to-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, and it can top out at about 150 miles per hour.

Production and the future

Affordability matters a lot when it comes to spreading a car around. For example, the Model S, which is a more expensive sedan, only sold about 10,000 cars this year. The Model 3, which is far cheaper than the Model S, has sold over 100,000 cars this year.

If the Model Y doesn’t suffer any major production issues like the Model X did, then the Model Y can be as successful as the Model 3 has been. For reference, the Model X hasn’t been selling well as it’s only sold about 14,000 cars this year.

InsideEVs mentions that Tesla will premiere the higher-end trims of the Model Y in the fall of 2020. Those trims will be in the $50,000 range. The $40,000 standard range Model Y will premiere in the spring of 2021.