The Tesla Model Y – Tesla’s more compact electric SUV – goes in to production earlier than expected with first deliveries in the US this spring.
Elon Musk’s Tesla has survived on a wing and a prayer – and incredibly loyal fans – so far, despite huge amounts of cash swallowed, promises which never materialise on time, huge losses, enormous production problems and ever-increasing competition from more traditional car makers.
But perhaps Tesla has finally reached the point where its upward trajectory is more secure, with production seemingly sorted, the whiff of profits in the air and big sales, especially for the Model 3.
Now, ahead of the promises made, Tesla has announced that production of the Tesla Model Y – the more compact electric SUV based on the Model 3 – has started and that first customer cars – at least in the US – will be delivered in the late spring.
The Model Y is being built at Tesla’s Fremont Plant, with plans to also build it in China from later this year too and, once it’s built, the new Tesla Plant in Germany.
Despite the start of production, it’s unlikely the Model Y will arrive in the UK until 2021, although Tesla say LHD Model Ys for Europe will start arriving this year.
Entry-level Model Ys won’t be built to start with, but buyers will have the option of the Long Range model with a range of over 300 miles, and the Dual Motor AWD model with bigger performance and a similar range.
Arguably, the Tesla Model Y will be the most appealing, and best-selling, Tesla to date when it gets in its stride. And with prices expected to start in the UK at under £40k it’s taking the fight to cars like the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro, as well as anything VW’s new ID. range can muster.