The Tesla Model Y Is the All-Electric Brand's Entry into the Compact-Crossover Fray

Joey Capparella
Photo credit: Tesla

From Car and Driver

  • The Model Y is a new crossover from Tesla that's based on the Model 3 sedan.
  • Smaller than the Model X crossover, the Model Y ditches that SUV's unusual "Falcon" rear doors in favor of conventional doors.
  • Elon Musk claims that the first Model Y deliveries will begin in fall 2020, with the most affordable $39,000 version arriving in 2021.

Now that the long-promised affordable version of the Model 3 is finally available for order, Tesla is launching its next ploy to bring all-electric motoring to the masses: the Model Y. A compact crossover that's essentially a taller and more spacious version of the Model 3, the Model Y offers a third row of seats for seven-passenger capacity.

Tesla claims a range of 300 miles and a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.5 seconds for the Long Range model, which has an estimated base price of $47,000.

Tesla wisely decided against gimmicks such as the Model X's gullwing rear doors and looks to have kept things relatively simple with the Model Y. The styling is remarkably similar to the Model 3's, although the proportions are somewhat different due to its taller body and roofline. The interior is similar too, with a gigantic touchscreen dominating the dashboard and few other controls. The Autopilot set of semi-autonomous driving features will be available.

Charging will be available for Model Y owners at Tesla's Supercharger network of fast-chargers, with drivers being charged by the kilowatt-hour like they are for most other Tesla models.

The Model Y will be built at Tesla's plant in Fremont, California, as well as at a new plant in Shanghai, China that is still under construction. Musk claims that Tesla will reach a million cars built globally by this time next year; the company says it has built around 500,000 cars in its entire history so far.

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