March 3rd, 2019 by Kyle Field
Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropped the news today on Twitter that the Tesla Model Y will be unveiled at an event at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, California on March 14.
Model Y unveil event on March 14 at LA Design Studio
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 3, 2019
The highly anticipated compact utility vehicle is expected to be in higher demand than Tesla’s Model 3 and will be 10% larger and cost 10% more, according to Musk. The projection is in line with the pricing gap between the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X, with the larger, heavier X demanding a premium price from customers looking to wow their friends and impress their neighbors with a pair of falcon wing doors.
Speaking of falcon wing doors, Musk took the opportunity to clarify that the Model Y will not have the hotly debated, over-engineered falcon wing doors, much to the relief of potential customers and shareholders alike. Introducing the Model Y into one of the hottest segments of passenger vehicles with normal doors opens it up to the widest possible segment of customers and all but ensures that it will have a shot at enjoying the early success of the Model 3.
The announcement of the reveal of the Model Y comes just days after Tesla slashed prices of vehicles across its fleet that were realized on Tesla’s journey to deliver the $35,000 Standard Range Tesla Model 3. Taking the 10% price increase into account, the base configuration of the Model Y could even be available at less than $40,000. That is a very healthy price point and puts the car in direct competition with its competition in the internal combustion world, just without the nasty emissions.
The BMW X3 starts at $41,000, the Mercedes-Benz GLC starts at $40,700 and the Porsche Macan will set buyers back $47,800, putting Tesla’s sub-$40,000 Model Y at a significant advantage compared to the competition. Looking beyond the price, these models come with a very real risk that cities will ban combustion vehicles from city centers in the near future as a lever for combatting urban air pollution. As the icing on the cake, the Model Y will also be available in a performance version that will put the competition to shame.
Musk previously announced that the Model Y will share 76% of its DNA with the Model 3, allowing Tesla to streamline its parts supply chains and leverage greater economies of scale to get better deals from its suppliers. Building up from the low chassis, the Model Y CUV will have a larger profile, resulting in a slightly less efficient coefficient of drag than the Model 3, according to Musk.
Slightly higher drag * slightly higher frontal area affects air friction & mass affects rolling resistance & hill climb. Physics is the law.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 3, 2019
That translates to slightly lower efficiencies than the Model 3, but we still expect it to lead its class in efficiency. Tesla’s ability to design and engineer its vehicles from the chemical composition of its batteries all the way up to the curvature of the nose has translated to a fleet of vehicles that the competition simply can’t touch. Thankfully, early customers have not been as worried about the efficiency of vehicles, focusing instead on the range they are able to achieve per charge.
Make no mistake though, as electric vehicles continue to move into the mainstream, miles-per-kilowatt-hour will become the new miles-per-gallon. The more miles that can be squeezed out of the battery and each kilowatt-hour of power that it contains translates to a lower and lower cost of operation. Looking out 5 or 10 years, that efficiency will form the foundation for the total cost of ownership discussion for operators of large, fully autonomous fleets of electric vehicles.
The March 14th event in Hawthorne, California at Tesla’s Design Studio will give participants some time with the Model Y, including test drives or at least test rides in the new vehicle. We will be at the event, so stay tuned here at CleanTechnica for all the juicy details as they unfold in just two short weeks.
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