Tesla Model Y

S3XY. Not only is this the full line of Tesla models, but that’s also how Tesla’s new “low-priced” SUV looks like. In a pre-presentation Elon Musk showcased the Model Y in Tesla’s Design Studio in L.A.

Musk started with a look back to the year 2008, when electric vehicles were still considered a pretty stupid idea. And even more stupid was an electric car company. But much has changed. Since 2008, Tesla has produced 550,000 vehicles. After the Model Roadster he was told that nobody would be able to manufacture an electric premium sedan that is able to compete with combustion engine premium cars. And then came the Model S and proved that it can compete. He also revealed that the S in the Model S is for Sedan.

Musk described the Model X as if a Fabergé egg meets a spaceship. The vehicle is loaded with extras. And yes, the X is for “crossover.”

The model that Tesla wanted to name as the E, but Ford threatened to sue. Ford literally killed “SEX,” according to Musk. That is why we have a Model 3.

The new generation Roadster as well as the Semi truck came both on the stage in L.A.

Mus also talked about additional activities, and that was about the factories. He stated that manufacturing is underrated. It is very easy to build prototypes, but to mass produce is very very difficult.

He reflected about the Fremont factory, and how Tesla had to revamp the former NUMMI factory taken over from Toyota for a bargain price. He thought it to have been much more difficult than building the car itself. Now thousands of robots work alongside 20,000 employees densely packed in the factory.

At the beginning of Model S production the global output of battery cells for all kinds of devices was at 30GWh, and Tesla knew that they would need a factory with an output of 50GWh. The Gigafactory may be finished only 1/3rd, but its already 4-5x as large as the Pentagon. To walk around the building takes two hours. And more Lithium-ion batteries are being built there than in the rest of the world together.

Construction on the second Gigafactory in China has started. At the end of this year she is supposed to be operational and will be at the end as large as the Fremont and Gigafactory together.

Elon Musk confessed that 2018 meant for him “aging five years in one year.” It has been very intensive.

But now Model 3 production is up and running and Tesla can now focus engineers on other products such as solar roofs and the Powerwall. The Powerpack – what he describes as industrial Powerwall – in Australia is now the largest installation worldwide.

In 2010 Tesla had almost zero supercharges. Today there is a network of 12,000+msupercharges across 36 countries with 1,400 stations. The recently introduced Version 3 of superchargers can charge withg 250kW, while Version 1 was “only” at 75kW. With the Version 3 a Long Range Model 3 can charge 1,000 miles in one hour.

In 12 months Tesla will have manufactured 1 million vehicles, and saved 4 million tons of CO2.

Musk quoted the media from 10 years ago and today, and the difference is dramatic. Skeptical responses back then are now followed by daily and urgent announcements of other car manufacturers introducing their planned electric vehicles. Musk stated that Tesla’s success should also be measured how the entire industry is reorienting towards the same goal: building electric vehicles.

Responding to Musk’s question where Tesla will be in 10 years, several people yelled “On Mars.” MMusk didn’t miss a beat and stated that this actually is possible and promised that in ten years a Tesla will drive on Mars.

Vehicle Specs

But now to the actual highlight of the evening: the introduction of the Model Y. It is at least as safe as the Model 3 , which already today is the safest car of its class. Safe as an SUV, but drriving like a sports car. That’s how the Model Y is supposed to be, according to Musk.

Here are the specs:

Model Standard Range Long Range Dual Motor AWD Performance
Range 230 miles 300 miles 280 miles 280 miles
Top Speed 120 mph 130 mph 135 mph 150 mph
0-60 mph 5.9 sec 5.5 sec 4.8 sec 3.5 sec
Price $39,000 $47,000 $51,000 $60,000
Deliveries Spring 2021 Fall 2020 Fall 2020 Fall 2020

The drag coefficient is at 2,3, EPA range at 480 kilometers and the center of gravity is very low, as similar to the Model 3.

Like the Model 3 the Model y has a panoramic glass rood and comes with seven seats. Latter ones are optional. The car has 1.9 cubic meters of space. Also the Autopilot is included and at the end of the year the software should be done for full autonomy. According to Elon Musk.

Musk is expecting that the Model Y will sell more than the Model S, 3, and X together.

But here now some screenshots from the live broadcast:

My Comment:

With the Model Y Tesla now presented the 5th fully battery electrical vehicle. All the four first have been manufactured – even though it sometimes took a bit longer then scheduled – but in the end Tesla delivered.

The Model Y as an SUV – as long as the trend continues going towards SUVs – will be a success as a lower price elecrtic vehicle. As Musk stated, Tesla’s success is not just measured with its own series of models, but that the entire automotive industry felt forced to announce their own electric vehicles. At the beginning they may have ridiculed Tesla, but nowas they have to bring their own electric vehicles to the market that realize how difficult that is. Up to now not a single manufacturer has a car in their offering that can compete with Tesla’s cars. The Model Y is just a confirmation of how far ahead Tesla is with its infrastructure and electric vehicle competencies.

This article was also published in German.


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