With the demand for EVs coming into question yet again, especially in some areas of the country, many compelling and less expensive rivals coming to market, and the impact of the new US federal EV tax credit, it may be time for Tesla to pull out more stops. How about offering the most popular electric SUV with a lower price tag?
When the Tesla Model Y first came to market, it was assumed it would come in a typical "base" configuration. Much like the Model 3 Standard Range, it would have rear-wheel drive, less range, and dialed-back performance. However, aside from this, it would essentially be the same electric SUV.
Sadly, Tesla only offers the US-spec Model Y in the expensive, dual-motor all-wheel-drive Long Range and Performance variants. No matter which Model Y you choose, you're looking at about $70,000 or more out the door. While that's not too pricey compared to a few other "luxury" electric SUVs, such as the BMW iX and Audi e-tron, it's more expensive than other competitors.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Volkswagen ID.4 all start at less than $50,000. You can get the Chevrolet Bolt EUV for less than $30,000. Certainly, the premise here is that if more people could afford the Model Y over the above SUVs, Tesla may enjoy even more sales success.
To add an interesting twist, it appears only some versions of the current US Model Y will qualify for the new $7,500 tax credit. Only three-row versions currently count as an SUV and qualify, but if Tesla were to offer a cheaper option, the situation may change.
According to a recent report by Electrek, Tesla is planning to bring a "short-range" Model Y to the US market in 2023. The publication notes Tesla's online configurator as the source of the information, though the details are currently only available on the back end, via the website's code.
It seems the version won't be the single-motor rear-wheel-drive variant, but rather, an all-wheel-drive Model Y with 4680 cells starting at $61,990. Check out the video below for more details. Then, let us know if you think this will become a reality.