Tesla Unveils Model Y SUV; Expected to be Built at Gigafactory
Tesla says the company's new Model Y SUV is expected to be built at the Gigafactory outside of Reno.
Tesla unveiled a new all-electric SUV on Thursday night that the automaker hopes will win over consumers looking for an all-electric alternative in the most popular segment of the auto marker.
“It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car,” CEO Elon Musk told the crowd. “This thing will be really tight on corners and we expect it will be the safest midsize SUV in the world by far.
The Model Y seats seven and has a panoramic glass roof and a 15-inch (38-centimeter) touchscreen interface for accessing all the car’s controls.
The all-electric, mid-size SUV will start at $39,000 for the standard range version, which the company said can go 230 miles (370 kilometers) on a single charge. The long-range model, which starts at $47,000, has a range of up to 300 miles (483 kilometers) on a single charge - less range than the Model 3.
A dual-motor, all-wheel drive version of the Model Y starts at $51,000 while the performance version of the car, which boasts acceleration of 0-60 mph (97 kph) in as little as 3.5 seconds and a top speed of up to 150 mph (241 kph), starts at $60,000.
The Model Y may be Tesla’s most important product yet as it attempts to expand into the mainstream and generate enough cash to repay massive debts that threaten to topple the Palo Alto, California, company.
Tesla got a huge boost toward ensuring its survival with the 2017 debut of its Model 3 sedan, but an SUV could have even more mass appeal, given how popular SUVs have become in the U.S., Europe and Canada.
Tesla says the new SUV is expected to be built at the Gigafactory outside of Reno.
In their fourth quarter and full year update, they said they cost of building the Model Y will be lower than the Model 3, and mentions furthering the development of their Tesla Semi, expansions of their Superchargers and the Gigafactory in Shanghai.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)