We have just discovered an all-new 2022 Tesla Model Y version, listed by the EPA, which brings more questions than answers.

The new Model Y is called simply "AWD," which means all-wheel-drive, but not "Long Range AWD," like the existing one. In other words, it might have the same dual motor powertrain, but a smaller/different battery (lower energy capacity).

There are now a total of four 2022 Tesla Model Y (the three others were listed in December):

  • RWD (listed, but not available)
    an entry-level version, "retired" due to not sufficient range, according to Tesla's Elon Musk
  • Long Range AWD - currently available (19" and 20" wheels)
  • Performance AWD - currently available (21" wheels)
  • AWD - the new version

As we can see, it has 279 miles (449 km) of range and slightly higher efficiency than the Long Range AWD.

If the RWD was not good enough for Elon Musk, then maybe the AWD with two motors and a noticeably higher range will be the new entry-level Tesla Model Y in the US? Currently, there is no official info about a new Tesla Model Y version on Tesla's website.

Here is what we know from the EPA's website:

2022 Tesla Model Y AWD

2022 Tesla Model Y AWD :: EPA Range rating by InsideEVs
[Electric Vehicle 5-cycle label]
279 mi (449 km)
291.9 mi (469.7 km)
263.3 mi (423.6 km)
EPA Energy consumption (including charging losses):
123 MPGe: 274 Wh/mi (170 Wh/km)
129 MPGe: 261 Wh/mi (162 Wh/km)
116 MPGe: 291 Wh/mi (181 Wh/km)

Considering similar energy consumption between AWD and Long Range AWD, and the range difference, we guess that the AWD has some 15-20% lower battery capacity.

Let's compare the two side-by-side:

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model 2022 Tesla Model Y AWD
[A] / [B]
2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD 19"
Drive AWD   AWD
Battery     80 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined 279 mi
(449 km)
-15.5% 330 mi
(531 km)
City 291.9 mi
(470 km)
-14.7% 342.2 mi
(551 km)
Highway 263.3 mi
(424 km)
-16.6% 315.7 mi
(508 km)
0-60 mph     4.8 s
Top speed     135 mph
(217 km/h)
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined 123 MPGe: 274 Wh/mi (170 Wh/km) 0.8% 122 MPGe: 276 Wh/mi (172 Wh/km)
City 129 MPGe: 261 Wh/mi (162 Wh/km) 1.6% 127 MPGe: 265 Wh/mi (165 Wh/km)
Highway 116 MPGe: 291 Wh/mi (181 Wh/km) -0.9% 117 MPGe: 288 Wh/mi (179 Wh/km)
MSRP     $59,990
Dest. Charge     +$1,200
Tax Credit     N/A
Effective Price     $61,190

* estimated/unofficial values

It's not clear at this point whether this is an upcoming new entry-level Tesla Model Y or just another "empty slot" (like the RWD).

Considering that the manufacturer has not yet announced what versions of the Tesla Model Y will be produced at the Giga Austin plant in Texas, there is a chance that we came across the first car powered by the 4680-type cylindrical battery cell.

But that seems iffy. The new 4680-type cells and structural battery pack were expected to be more energy-dense, so a car with a lower battery capacity should be lighter and noticeably more efficient. The AWD is only marginally more efficient.

It might be a version powered by the prismatic LFP cells. This option sounds reasonable because we see a lower range (lower battery capacity) and a similar efficiency (probably due to a similar weight). LFP batteries are significantly less energy-dense than NCA.

A new LFP-powered Tesla Model Y would be interesting also from a business perspective as the company recently increased prices of Model 3/Model Y with high-nickel batteries.

Feel free to leave us a comment on what you think about the new Tesla Model Y AWD.

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