Tesla has just introduced a new entry-level, rear-wheel-drive version of the Model Y in the United States, with a very attractive starting price.
The new Tesla Model Y RWD jumps into the lineup in the spot vacated by the recently removed Model Y AWD (equipped with 4680-type cylindrical batteries).
The price of the base version is $43,990 (plus a $1,640 destination and order fee), which after deducting the available $7,500 federal tax credit, translates into an effective cost of $38,130. That's $3,750 less than in the case of the retired Tesla Model Y AWD (4680).
|Model||Base Price||Dest. Charge||Tax Credit||Effective Price|
|2023 Tesla Model Y RWD 19-inch||$43,990||+$1,640||$7,500||$38,130|
|2023 Tesla Model Y RWD 20-inch||$45,990||+$1,640||$7,500||$40,130|
|2023 Tesla Model Y AWD (4680) 19-inch [removed] ||$47,740||+$1,640||$7,500||$41,880|
|2023 Tesla Model Y AWD (4680) 20-inch [removed] ||$49,740||+$1,640||$7,500||$43,880|
|2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD 19-inch||$50,490||+$1,640||$7,500||$44,630|
|2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD 20-inch||$52,490||+$1,640||$7,500||$46,630|
|2023 Tesla Model Y Perf. LR AWD 21-inch||$54,490||+$1,640||$7,500||$48,630|
* Tesla adds a Destination fee (DST) of $1,390 and an Order Fee of $250 to all its models ($1,640 total).
Together with some local state incentives, the new Tesla Model Y RWD might be very affordable and for sure one of the top models in terms of value in the all-electric crossover/SUV segment.
It will be interesting to see whether it will affect the Model 3 sales because it's less expensive than the Model 3 Long Range AWD ($47,240 + DST), and just a bit more expensive than the Model 3 RWD ($40,240 + DST).
Range and Battery
The new Tesla Model Y RWD has an estimated range (according to the manufacturer) of 260 miles when equipped with base 19-inch Gemini wheels, or 242 miles with the optional 20-inch wheels.
That's slightly less than in the case of the retired Model Y AWD version, which was rated at 279 miles (269 miles with 20-inch wheels). The difference is 19 miles or 6.8 percent compared to the AWD.
We assume that the Tesla Model Y RWD is equipped with a different battery than the retired Model Y AWD. The manufacturer does not reveal details related to batteries, but we noted that it has the same peak charging rate of 170 kilowatts as the entry-level Model 3 RWD, which is equipped with LFP batteries. The Model Y AWD (4680) was able to charge at up to 230 kilowatts, while the Long Range (2170) battery packs accept up to 250 kilowatts. This fact, combined with the range ratings, strongly suggests to us that this is the LFP battery (potentially 60+ kilowatt-hours, compared to the unofficially estimated 68 kWh in the Model Y AWD).
Additionally, the weight of the Model Y RWD is 4,154 pounds (209 lbs lower than in the case of the AWD or LR AWD versions). A similar difference (172 lbs) is noted between the Model 3 RWD and Model 3 LR AWD (3,862 lbs and 4,034 lbs).
The new entry-level Tesla Model Y RWD has only one electric motor in the rear, which is the main reason why it has noticeably slower acceleration. It goes from 0-60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds, compared to 5.0 seconds in the case of the retired Model Y AWD. The Model 3 RWD is also noticeably slower than the Model 3 LR AWD (5.8 seconds vs. 4.2 seconds). Nonetheless, for an average electric vehicle driver, this still sounds like a pretty good number.
|2023 Tesla Model Y RWD 19-inch||RWD||260 mi*||6.6||135 mph|
|2023 Tesla Model Y RWD 20-inch||RWD||242 mi*||6.6||135 mph|
|2023 Tesla Model Y AWD (4680) 19-inch [removed] ||AWD||279 mi||5.0||135 mph|
|2023 Tesla Model Y AWD (4680) 20-inch [removed] ||AWD||269 mi*||5.0||135 mph|
|2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD 19-inch||AWD||330 mi||4.8||135 mph|
|2023 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD 20-inch||AWD||318 mi*||4.8||135 mph|
|2023 Tesla Model Y Perf. LR AWD 21-inch||AWD||303 mi||3.5*||155 mph|
* estimated/unofficial values, according to the manufacturer; acceleration time with subtracted rollout
According to Tesla's online design studio, the estimated delivery time of the Model Y RWD is October-November.
The introduction of the Tesla Model Y RWD brings us questions about the AWD version, which is equipped with 4680-type cylindrical cells.
Tesla removed it, while at the same time, the automaker is preparing the launch of the Tesla Cybertruck, which suggests that at least temporarily, there might be not enough batteries for both the Model Y AWD and the Cybertruck. However, this move means that there is no Tesla EV with a structural battery pack on the market right now. There could be also other reasons, like an intention to launch a different 4680-powered version of the Model Y (Long Range AWD).
Another question is where the Tesla Model Y RWD will be produced - potentially in California. By the way, the Tesla Model Y RWD in Canada is slightly different and directly imported from China.
Anyway, many EV buyers will be very happy with the introduction of the long-awaited RWD version of the car. Tesla previously offered a RWD version a few years ago but dropped it after Elon Musk criticized its insufficient range of 244 miles (below 250 miles, which appears to be Tesla's internal minimum target).