Tesla has kept details regarding the Model Y under wraps. So far, all we know is that it will be an electric compact SUV that will share certain similarities with the Model 3.
However, in an earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed several exciting details about the Model Y.
Elon Musk Reveals Model Y Details
In March, Autocar created a render of the Model Y that envisioned a sleek SUV with the Model X's Falcon Wing doors. Musk previously confirmed that the Model Y will come with such doors.
It was also previously rumored that the Model Y will also be as affordable as the Model 3. The price of the Model 3 starts at only $35,000, and the base price of the Model Y is expected to be just a bit higher than that.
The expected similarity in price tags led to the belief that the Model Y will be built on the same platform as the Model 3. However, Musk refuted that, claiming that the Model Y will not be built on the Model 3 platform.
According to Musk, Tesla expects production of the Model Y to start in 2020, though it could begin as early as late 2019. The timing makes sense, as other major automakers such as Volvo, Mercedes, and Audi, are planning to roll out their own electric SUV models by 2020.
The Tesla CEO also said that he is planning to do away with the 12-volt battery architecture that has been used in previous Tesla vehicles, dropping lead-acid batteries and incorporating a different way of powering the electronics inside the Model Y.
By doing so, the production process will be simplified due to a significant reduction in the length of electric wiring needed. With shorter wiring, Tesla will be able to introduce more automation into its production, coinciding with previous statements made by Musk that he is looking to use more robots in the production line.
Will The Model Y Help Tesla Sell 1 Million Vehicles Per Year?
Musk described the Model Y as an important factor in Tesla's goal of selling 1 million electric vehicles per year starting 2020.
The late 2019 to 2020 start in production of the Model Y, however, is a little later than expected. This is because it was believed that the ramp up in Model Y production will require one year before sales of the electric SUV could meaningfully contribute to the annual sales target of 1 million units.
Automation could be the key for Tesla to reach that target. Musk said that while the production lines of the Model 3 will be comparable to the best lines in the automotive industry, the production lines of the Model Y will be "something else."
Tesla Prepares For Model 3
As Musk teased the Model Y, Tesla is preparing to launch the highly anticipated mass-market Model 3. The company recently adjusted the prices of its electric vehicles to better differentiate the Model 3 from the high-end Model S.
The Model 3 will be smaller than the Model S, with shorter range, less power, and fewer features. Limited production of the electric vehicle is expected to start in July, with volume production beginning in the fourth quarter.