Tesla launches the Model Y
2019-03-14 Michael J. Coren
Elon Musk strode on stage in Los Angeles this evening (March 14) to
introduce the final addition to Tesla’s “sexy” lineup: the Model Y. It is
Tesla’s first compact SUV (and the electric carmaker’s fifth model). The SUV
Tesla rolled out puts the electric carmaker in one of the world’s hottest
car segments—and up against incumbents ready to defend their turf after
watching the Model S and Model 3 erode their share of premium sedans last
The invite-only crowd seemed slightly more subdued than at previous car
launches, but cheered Musk as he ran through the Model Y’s features. The SUV
is expected to have a 230-mile range (extendable up to 300 miles), a 0-60
mph acceleration time of 3.5 seconds, and an option for seven seats. Like
the Model 3 (with which it shares 75% of its parts and a chassis), the SUV
comes with a panoramic glass roof and Autopilot features. Tesla aims to
start selling a $60,000 performance version next fall, followed by a $39,000
model in 2021. You can pre-order [
] the Model Y now with $2,500 toward the vehicle.
The car arrives at a critical time for Tesla. It’s blockbuster Model 3 is
taking over the (shrinking) sedan market. With some 140,000 units sold in
2018, the Model 3 was the best-selling electric car in the US last year (and
sold more than four times that of the second-ranking Toyota Prius Prime) and
the fifth best-selling sedan overall. The Model 3 accounted for 20% of the
700,000 mid-priced sedans (categorized as those costing $30,000 to $50,000)
sold in the US in 2018.
But for the electric carmaker to survive, it needs to be a major player in
the world’s most popular and growing segment: SUVs. Many other countries are
now developing a taste for the bigger vehicles that have been a mainstay of
North American garages for years such as the top-selling Ford Explorer and
smaller “crossovers,” or SUVs built on a car chassis.
The SUV’s share of the global auto market has risen from 22% to more than a
third since 2014, reports automotive intelligence firm JATO Dynamics. Most
of that growth has come in countries like China (sales growth of 13% in 2017
compared with 2016), Japan (30%), Middle East (19%), and South America
That’s not good news for the planet. While SUVs are becoming more fuel
efficient, they have dramatically slowed progress on emissions reductions.
The average fuel economy for the world’s new autos must fall by 3% per year
to meet climate targets, reports The New York Times, and that’s not
happening. On stage, Musk said he wanted the Model Y to be the next step
toward a more sustainable future by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and
his intention was to pressure the entire industry to follow Tesla’s lead
into EVs. “It’s extremely rewarding to see the rest of the industry going
electric,” he said.
Musk predicted the Model Y would sell more units than the Model 3 and Model
S, combined. Michael Harley, executive editor at Kelley Blue Book called the
Model Y Tesla’s biggest opportunity so far. “It’s price and body style
should resonate with the majority of today’s car buyers,” he said in a
But Tesla’s EV market is getting crowded. The $70,000 Jaguar iPace SUV
boasts comparable specs. Porsche’s all-electric Cross Turismo SUV due to
start production in 2020 has drawn positive reviews. Audi has plans to
launch its $74,800 e-tron SUV by the time the Model Y arrives next year.
Tesla has fought off challengers before. Now it will have more rivals in the
‘We are bringing S3XY back’: Tesla’s Elon Musk introduces Model Y crossover
Tesla CEO Elon Musk finished spelling out an all-electric acronym ... Model
Y, a crossover SUV that’s due to hit the market in the fall of 2020 ...
roadster orbiting Mars
+ (Ford teaser: Hey Look Ma, no EV)
Did Ford just tease an electric Mustang as Tesla debuts Model Y?
March 14, 2019 Ford Motor teased a possible electric Mustang-inspired
crossover late ... same time Tesla was about to begin an event to announce
its own new electric vehicle ...
'Look ma, no ...'
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