According to a lengthy and highly informative report from our friend Joey Klender at Teslarati, it appears Tesla is just waiting on a single approval to start delivering its Model Y crossovers built at its brand-new, massive factory in Austin, Texas.
The Model Y's coming out of the factory are unlike any other Model Y SUVs in the hands of the public today. This is because they feature Tesla's new structural battery pack and 4680 cells. It seems that for this reason, they require new EPA approval.
Teslarati reached out to the EPA for details. The organization said Tesla can start delivering the new models once they receive its final approval. The Texas-made Model Y crossovers don't yet have a Certificate of Conformity, which is required before they can be officially sold and delivered.
More specifically, Teslarati explains that a Certificate of Conformity is the EPA's approval that says a car can "enter the stream of commerce." The certification covers one model year, and all new vehicles must be tested before approval can be granted. The EPA provided an official statement to the publication. It reads as follows:
“Prior to offering a vehicle for sale, all carlines in the Light-duty sector must be certified and Fuel Economy test data representing each model type must be submitted to EPA. EPA can confirm that Tesla has received a Certificate of Conformity for the 2022 Model Y Long Range AWD, Model Y Performance AWD (Test Group NTSLV00.0L2Y) and a Certificate for the Model Y RWD (Test Group NTSLV00.0L1Y).”
As you can see, the 2022 Model Y Long Range, Performance, and RWD already have a valid Certificate of Conformity, and it's valid through the end of this year. However, it's likely that whichever models will employ the new battery pack and cells will need the updated approval before deliveries can begin.
The EPA also made it clear to Teslarati that if changes are made to a vehicle, it can choose on a case-by-case basis if a new certification is required. It also said it doesn't recertify due to a change in production sites or building locations, but rather, a change to the vehicle itself.
Based on a wealth of details researched by Teslarati, it appears the Texas-built Model Y vehicles have received all other approvals, and only the EPA's certification remains. This aligns with Tesla's announcement earlier this year that it will begin delivering Model Ys built at Giga Austin following final approval. However, sadly, the EPA said it can't predict the timing of the certification process, which varies.
That said, Teslarati explains that in the past, these approvals took a few weeks, so we could see Model Y crossover deliveries out of Texas almost immediately, though there's no way to know for sure. Tesla is holding an event at the factory in early April, which may suggest the official start of deliveries to the public, though that's a long way off, and Tesla said it's targeting Q1 2022. We'll be keeping a close eye on the developments.
We've embedded a recent flyover video of Tesla's Giga Texas below. You can check out the related article, which features the video, by following the links above. In addition, be sure to click on the source link below for many more details from Teslarati.