Tesla was founded on July 1st, 2003, after General Motors had recalled all the EV1 electric cars they had produced and destroyed them. And when Tesla first started producing cars in 2008, they only produced one model, the Tesla Roadster. The Roadster was the first electric vehicle with a lithium-ion battery that could drive for a range greater than 320 kilometres per charge. The Roadster had an AC motor that was copied from a design originally made by Nikola Tesla, whom Tesla was named after, in 1882. The Roadster was sold between 2008 and 2012 and more than 2,250 Roadsters were sold in 31 countries until Tesla stopped taking orders for Roadsters in 2011.
Tesla started producing other models after that. The company began delivering Model S sedans in 2012, then Model X, a full-size crossover SUV in 2015. The Tesla Semi, an all-electric semi-trailer truck, was introduced towards the end of 2017 in addition to a new version of the Tesla Roadster called the 2020 Roadster, which was unveiled as a surprise at the end of the event that debuted the Tesla Semi and is expected to compete for the title of fastest car in the world. Tesla’s newest model, Model 3, was introduced in 2016 and first delivered in 2017.
The newest addition to the Tesla family is going to be the Tesla Model Y, a crossover all-electric vehicle designed for families.
Model Y is not the official name of the new Tesla vehicle; it’s just the name given to refer to the upcoming SUV or CUV produced by Tesla. And it’s not just the name that hasn’t been decided yet. There have been many speculations about Model Y based on mentions of the model by the company or its CEO Elon Musk.
Model Y’s Launch Date
Tesla hasn’t had a launch event for any new automobiles since November 2017 which was the event that introduced the Tesla Semi truck and saw the surprise debut of the 2020 Roadster. That is why everyone was very excited when Tesla announced they were launching a new vehicle: Tesla Model Y.
When the company first announced their intentions to produce Model Y, they had then set the launch date for 2018, but they faced problems in the production of Model 3 and the priority was to meeting the production deadline of Model 3 before launching a new vehicle.
Elon Musk stated that he approved Model Y’s prototype on the same conference call announcing Tesla’s impressive third quarter earnings. The new launch date set by Musk is March 15, 2019 and production should begin in 2020.
Model Y’s Design
Tesla has released some vague pictures of Model Y that were certainly intriguing but didn’t reveal much about the car’s design. The pictures show a close resemblance to the Porsche Cayenne and Model Y seems to have taken some features from the other models designed by Tesla, especially Model 3. It will also have the unique Falcon Wing doors sported by the Tesla Model X. Musk mentioned that the Model Y won’t have any leather in it, making a tantalizing comment that it may not even have a steering wheel.
“Model Y will not have any leather in it, even in the steering wheel… even if it does have a steering wheel.”
Tesla’s biggest issue has always been meeting their production targets and matching the production to the demand on their cars. That was especially evident with Model 3, whose reservations reached 325,000 units around the world a week after its unveiling.
While there have been some rumors that Tesla is going to build a new factory for Model Y, Tesla has revealed that they will be producing Model Y along with Model 3 at their new Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China.
Model Y’s Price
There haven’t been any official announcements about what the price of Model Y is going to be, but Musk has mentioned previously that the price of Model Y may start at approximately $5,000 over the price of Tesla’s most affordable model, Model 3. Model 3’s starting price is $45,000, which is still a lot cheaper than the Model S, whose price starts from $78,000, the Model X, whose price starts from $84,000, or the 2020 Roadster, which is expected to sell for a starting price of $200,000.
Tesla is still striving to make more affordable electric vehicles and promised a $35,000 version of Model 3, which has not been delivered, or even produced, yet. Nevertheless, Model 3 is the best-selling EV in the US so far in 2018. If Tesla manages to pull of producing the $35,000 version of Model 3, there will be hope that the Model Y’s price can start as low as $40,000.