Tesla Model Y Prototype Approved For Production


The information was confirmed by Elon Musk during the Q3 2018 financial call held earlier this week

For Tesla, the perception of the general public and the automotive pundits alike is pretty much skewed. After all, we’re talking about a company that – up until recently – only had one viable model in production; the Model S. After the launch of the Model X, followed by the announcement and consequent move to production and sales of the Model 3, the U.S. based carmaker isn’t stopping there. During the Tesla Q3 2018 Financial Call held earlier this week, it was confirmed that the Tesla Model Y prototype was approved for production.

This comes as great news for everyone that was hyped about the potential Model Y crossover a while back. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Model Y will be an all-electric crossover that’s quite likely to be even more popular than the Model 3 – a car that saw like half a million people put down a $1,000 deposit long before it ever reached production.

The Model Y will likely be revealed to the public in March 2019 and this makes that timeline quite feasible. According to several sources, the company is aiming for early 2020 as the production date. From what scarce information we have gathered so far, it is expected for the Model Y to slide-in just somewhere Model 3 and the Model S, perhaps in the $45,000-range for the base version. According to the recent internet rumor mill, the vehicle will utilize the Model 3 chassis, dispensing away with the falcon wing doors found on the Model X SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) luxury family hauler.

In a nutshell, we’re looking forward to an eventful Spring of 2019, where Tesla hopefully reveals not only the Model Y crossover but also, the much-discussed pickup truck as well. Hopefully, this puts Tesla alongside the legacy carmakers, who offer upwards of 7-8 models, and does away with the skewed perception of the company as just a technology maker. Furthermore, that whole tongue-in-cheek premise of the model range listed as S3XY, doesn’t sound too bad as well.

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119 Comments on "Tesla Model Y Prototype Approved For Production"

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I hope it is a very standard hatchback. No fancy Falcon Wing doors, flush handles, and with large easy access rear loading. Where will it be built?

Gigafactory 1 is the most likely candidate.

Yelp, and Model 3 will be discontinued at the Fremont factory

Where did you hear that???

Are you just confused, or is that a failed attempt at FÜD?

We can be pretty sure that the Model 3 will remain in production at the Fremont factory as long as Tesla makes the Model 3 for sale in the U.S.

No. It’s cheaper to build in China and have a greater profit margin. That’s why iPhones are such huge profits

Except that they stated, repeatedly (most recently in the Q3 earnings letter), that production in China will only be for the local market.

Local and European markets. It’s not bad a bad thing to get mite profit

Part of the reason I bought my M3 is that it is made in the USA. That means something to many of us still. I love TESLA and their mission but keeping my money in the states means even more.

Very inefficient in practice. Yo go where labor is cheap to create bigger margins. They could have gone to Alabama or Tennessee and might have been cheaper then China

Producing cars closer to the market reduces inventory and is more capital efficient. They have a goal of reducing transit time from factory to consumer to 10 days globally. This also increases the float, leaving lot more cash in Telsa hands (it gets paid in 10 days while there is more days to pay the suppliers (suppler credit is now stands at 62 days). Decreasing the time to paying suppliers could help reduce supplier costs which could also be passed back to Tesla as lower price.
Tesla will always produce closer to market for faster response to customer orders, producing cars on order and supppying fast and protecting itself from global supply disruptions.

Most of the supplies for factory built China cars will be in China

That remains to be seen.

You generally get what you pay for. Firms outsource production to China when they want the job done cheap. There are exceptions, but generally items made in China aren’t worth the irritations caused by poor quality. I tend to avoid anything built in China because it is usually cheap, flimsy and not worth the slight savings that the seller got by using a Chinese manufacturer. Sometimes it is all you can get new, though. I bought 3 can openers new from different companies, all made in China. All broke or failed in one way or another within 6 months of purchase. I bought a used Ecko opener, made in the US in the 1960’s. I have been using it for the past 15 years or so, still works perfectly.

iPhones and iPads. Laptops and thier bullet train is cheap. /s

Hence the “generally”
I know there are exceptions, but generally you get what you pay for and Chinese products are generally crap.

Tesla has lower labor costs than other car makers. And it will continue downwards. As such, your posting is full of BS.

Bingo ‼️

It’s a lot cheaper to ship a phone than a car. They may build in China for the rest of the world but not for North America.

Clive. Nope. Musk will not be exporting from china.

Musk has already said that China will be about China production only.
And he would be stupid to move production to a nation that is in a cold war with the west.

No one has said that… yet…

But we could see a scenario where MY demand is so great they will need Fremont capacity as well as Nevada. Since sedan demand would be declining at that point, it would make sense to put M3 production in China where sedans are popular, and import some to satisfy any remaining US demand.

Of course that assumes the trade wars will be over by then.

Tesla would not produce cars or semi in Nevada until it achieves 100% automation.
There is labour shortage at Nevada and the 20,000 max staff there would be needed for the battery, pack and power train production

That’s easy. I would go to Nevada if there’s an opening

No, unfortunately it’s already known to be a CUV. While it’s highly unlikely to have the falcon wing doors, the overall form factor isn’t going to be anywhere as space efficient or cost effective as a decent hatchback .

Tesla’s idea of a CUV is essentially a hatchback anyway. Really, what’s going to be the difference between a Tesla CUV on a Model 3 chassis, with styling similar to a Model X, and a Hatchback? An extra couple of inches of ground clearance isn’t going to affect interior space, nor is the AWD, which is alreay present in the Model 3 Chassis.

Exactly what I was gonna say. With auto makers giving the “CUV/SUV” label to smaller and smaller automobiles very year, the only real difference between a hatchback and a CUV these days is that the CUV probably has a slightly higher roofline.

Why would a taller vehicle be less space efficient or cost efficient? The only downside I expect (aside from looks, and obstructing view for pedestrians), is somewhat lower range.

Agree, plus if its design to use the Model3 platform it will cut cost and ease to manufacture.

I would assume it has the same flush handles as the Model 3, would make plenty of sense (they are really easy to use, no more difficult than any other door handle once you spend 30 seconds with them).

I love Falcon Wing doors!

Maybe Tesla can have both Regular + FWD’s? Choose when Reserving, and they get a direct feedback as to which to lead with in production!

Nice idea, but won’t happen.

But with Elon, one knever knows!

While having a choice would certainly satisfy more people, it would also significantly complicate design and production, and thus raise the price of either variant…

Bitt, Like the touch screen, most ppl have to drive the FWD for a bit, before they realize that those are Superior to the old approach. Sadly, ppl just hate anything different without any real logic.

Someone at Tesla smartened up decided conventional doors were better. I always knew that, of course. If I were an engineer at Tesla, I’d have insisted on conventional doors for the Model X. I was surprised a smart guy like Musk allowed them to be put on the Model X. Not only are they more mechanically feeble due to the added complexity, they allow more wind noise to enter the cabin. You can’t put a roof rack on a vehicle with them. Many SUV owners want a roof rack.

It was musk idea to go with FWD, and apparently, like the touch screen, they are either a hot, or are disdained. And like the touch screen, it tends to be the backwards fools that have not spent time with FWD, that scream how bad they are.

Yet, they obviously do not have kids or weather, and are not old. With kids, these owners love them.

Tesla – make it simple and functional like the Model 3 — get it on the road with a reasonable price. We DO NOT need the falcon wing doors — just not worth the extra hassle…

Why would you even assume it will have falcon wing doors?

Because Elon is on Record stating he was going to put them on the Y! But, his Board members “Talked Some Sence Into Him” about Not doing a Whole New Chassis, but we don’t know for sure if they talked him off the FWD’s, for the 1st Model Y’s!

IIRC he was mulling falcon wing doors even before his back-and-forth on making a new platform for the Model Y… Pretty much orthogonal question I believe. (The body will be an entirely new design either way…)

@Yavor – he did mention it a few times — but he really needs to “KISS” this one (keep it simple, stupid!) I Don’t need something that competes with a high-end BMW — get something out there that competes with Toyota & Honda….

Like the 3, it has to compete against all 3.

It remains to be seen if musk will keep word on fwd. In fact, 2 doors, both FWD, would be ideal.


The demand for the Tesla Model Y is going to be enormous, in many countries.

A separate Gigafactory in the US will be required to fulfill the demand for the Tesla Model Y North America.

And Tesla will need to produce more than a million in total in order to fulfill global demand for the Tesla Model Y.

The Tesla Model Y will be a manufacturing revolution.

What would be cool is if Model Y attacks Ford’s and GM’s SUV & CUV business and forces them to accelerate their EV efforts.

It will be a shot at the Escape, although it will definitely cost more. I wonder how many people would upgrade from a Ford to a Tesla.

Probably not that many. A fully loaded Escape Titanium is less than $35k MSRP (so probably closer to $30k in the showroom). How many people are going to be willing to pay 50% more to go from an AWD, leather seat with all the electronic gizmos to a base model, fabric, short range non AP/premium package Model Y?

Bear in mind no incentives in the US at that point. That’s a lot of fuel you need to be using to make it worthwhile (like for like you’re looking at around $30k difference).

BMW, Audi, MB will have more of an issue, but they will all have at least one EV out by that point. Hopefully in the two years they have before release they’ll have even better ones on the horizon.

It’s also worth pointing out Ford plan to have a $40k long range EV CUV out in around 2020 too, so it’s not just the ICE Escape.

It is worth noting that according to Tesla this week, 50% of people who are buying the model 3 are trading in cars that were less than $35k when they were new, and these Tesla’s are atleast $49k, so it may surprise you how many people will over upgrade, especially if they can show a lower TCO and higher safety rating.

How many of them are first adopters doing it for environmental reasons, not economic reasons? Sure, TCO is an important factor but you need to be doing a LOT of miles to make $30,000 worth of fuel worth the uplift, especially when you consider maintenance and repair costs into the equation. Ford are relatively cheap, Tesla are premium prices.

Obviously it doesn’t have to be completely like for like, but overall cost will need to be relatively similar. I’d be interested to know if more long distance drivers drive sedans rather than CUV’s as well. At a guess if you’re doing double or triple the average mileage then you’re probably more interested in a sedan than a CUV.

The really rich environmental first adopters already bought the Model S. Now wek’re into the folks who aren’t all millionaires, but are in roughly the top 10% in income. There are certainly a lot of environmentalists in this group as well, but there are enough people that it starts to matter less why they’re buying the car because so many of them are buying the car. In other words, even if they’re trading up for environmental reasons, buyers are so plentiful that they cannot merely be dismissed as early adopters.

Except $30,000 is a total BS figure. A Model Y matching the $30,000 Escape in value will definitely not cost anywhere near $60,000.

Maintenance is much lower on EV than ICE. Repair is interesting one.

Seeing people on autotrader selling thier model 3 because they can’t afford them. Waiting for one to drop to 38k to jump

More like people are cashing in on the $7500 credit. Typical games.

Need to have car when filing to get the tax credit

No you don’t, just proof of purchase.

I believe you have to own the car for a full year or your tax deduction will be rescinded and you will owe more tax the following year.

Ford is bring out nothing

Also remember, Tesla or not, an EV CUV being Sold, let’s say, by Ford, by itself cuts out the sale of possibly 2 (*NEW) ICE CUV’s: 1 from the direct EV Sales, and 1 from someone buying the traded in CUV!

AND, if Ford’s EV CUV Customers are as excited wth their Ford EV, as Tesla Owners are with Theirs, they will also take friends for rides, which may lead to more demand for the EV Version, and less sales in the ICE Version! Plus, the delay, because they wait for the EV product!

I suspect that this will kill the escape.


Poor mileage,
Busy dash,
Very unsafe ( hence the low cost )
Cheap parts.

And the cost of ownership remains high for escape vs. electric.

Finally Tesla has much better brand than Ford.

Ford will have their 300 mile BEV CUV out about the same time. Should be an interesting market to watch.

Let’s hope they really do. Ford’s will probably look more like a typical CUV. Will Ford have the production capacity to be a serious competitor? Again, I hope so.

Just as the premium European brands get a price bump just for their names (in addition to their content), Tesla may well get one when it has real competitors in EVs. I would certainly expect this for a Ford vs a Tesla. Tough for Ford and other non-premium makers.

It really depends on the price of their vehicle. Ford would be silly to release a similar EV at a similar price to Tesla, release it for $10k less and you suddenly have a much bigger market, just like with ICE vehicles.

I’m not sure they would be able to release one for $35k straight away (as opposed to a $45k MY), but they could throw in a lot of tech/”premium” features only present on a higher trim Tesla, which is how the market works now – buy a poverty spec premium brand, or a higher end mainstream brand.

Remember: Ford has only sold 1 BEV Model, so far, the EV Conversion of the Focus. Tesla’s “Equivalent” was their first Roadster!

Tesla now has 3 completed EV Products selling, and demand for the Model 3 has actually Helped Sales for the Model S!

Model Y will be their 4th Fully Designed In House New EV, or 5th, if you count the Semi, or 6th, if you also count the New Roadster (but it’s production might actually come After Model Y, while the Semi is expected to start production 3-6 months earlier)!

It won’t look like a typical CUV. Ford have already stated it’ll be a PUV (performance utility vehicle). Think of a similar look to the VW ID Crozz concept.

Any “Competitive” EV, from any other OEM besides Tesla, will be a self eating sale; each Ford EV Sale, will eat away at Ford’s ICE Sales, AND Validify Tesla EV’s all the more!

Better Ford keep its loyal customers than loose them to Tesla.

It will be both cool, and the Tesla Reservation System of Advance Marketing, will be a way to track declining Non-Tesla SUV/CUV Sales in the future!

If the OEM’s did not really see the writing on the wall, with over 100,000 Model 3 Reservations, even Before they Rolled on Stage, on March 31st, 2016, but are just starting to “Get It” now; Imagine there response if Tesla reports an even bigger number, for the Model Y!

It’s said 1 Model 3 takes away 4 New Sedan sales from the competition: 1 by the direct purchase, and 1 from the used vehicle trade in, plus 2 more from taking friends for rides that also follow up by buying a Model 3!

So, it would suggest a Model Y represents at least as many lost sales to ICE OEM Sales! Maybe more, as they will quite likely launch with better Autopilot Systems: of Course, the new Tesla Neural Net Chip, maybe higher performance camera’s, better radar, etc!

As well, it will need to “Launch” with a Towing Rated Vehicle, for which the “Suggested Option” for the Model 3 has not yet been confirmed! (So, I wait… To pull the Trigger from my Reservation!)

No they need to compete with CRV and Rav4 thier the suv and car king

Fremont and China will be producing them.

Shanghai yes; Fremont… Maybe — but it’s considered a less likely option.

(I suspect the final decision won’t be taken until reservations open, so actual demand can be gauged…)

This will be the biggest volume seller for Tesla for years to come.

Model Y will be the most important car for Tesla, far more than Model 3. It actually has a chance being one of the best selling vehicle in the US.

The Model 3 is one of the best selling too, and represents a return of the Sedan, in my opinion (not the selling part, but return of the Sedan). Efficiency is important in EVs and the Model 3 will be more efficient than the Y.

While I agree that the Model Y likely won’t be outselling the Model 3 as much as other CUVs outsell sedans (in certain markets), I still expect it will sell somewhat larger volumes. (Unless it sees serious competition…) Even the Model X somewhat outsells the Model S nowadays — in spite of being less handicapped than the Model 3, as it has a hatch…

I doubt it. I suspect that their 25k vehicles will be their big sellers and will destroy all legacy ice vehicle sales.

KISS principle. 5000lb towing.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I sure hope so.

Yes! AWD and 5000lb towing please!

Maybe 3000 or 3500 lb. How much is the model X rated to tow? (I don’t know.) That number less about 30-35%.

I believe the X is rated at 5000 lb towing. And you can’t tow with the turbine wheels. (just a kinda meaningless factoid)

With the Model X rated at 5000 lbs towing capacity, I wouldn’t expect the Model Y’s capacity to be that high.

But I could be wrong on that. Maybe the fact that the TMY will be smaller than the MX doesn’t matter; perhaps it has more to do with the power of the drivetrain.

100 miles of towing range though?

That’s a highly variable number. Real-world tests have shown that the Model X’s range is approximately halved towing a medium-sized trailer at highway speed.

Depends on what towing. Make it an RV trailer kind of thing with a flat front, will be different than pulling something like a c-scows, laser, or other racing sailboats designed with aerodynamic in mind.

Base range whem not towing, even in an ICE Vehicle, is always more than while Towing!

At this early stage, NO ONE here knows what to make of this. Or at least no one who is willing and able to say so.

I sincerely hope this doesn’t turn into another case of Musk/Tesla playing fast and loose with facts as part of their maturation process. The last thing we need is for EVs to be seen by the general public as the product of shady operators.

Short Seller FUD. Expect a lot more of this sort of stuff.

LMFAO, serial anti-Tesla Bruce Sanders posts another crazed conspiracy theory to push his agenda and the ones who pay for this BS.

GM and Ford feel very little pain from losing sedan sales.
Wait until they start losing pickup truck sales.
That would really hurt.

EXACTLY… Love my F150 BUT truly exciting to see what Elon does there and it very well could be the next vehicle to sit next to me M3D 🙂

More so because they have put themselves in a corner. Once musk goes to the truck, all legacy car makers are in trouble.

It could be an act of mercy towards the big 3 that Tesla is not making a pickup truck next. It could give them a chance to get their s*** together if they choose to before their cash cow’s are butchered.

Technology is the reason (and presumably battery capacity). Fitting a 200kWh battery into a 7000 GVWR with a 1500-2000lb hauling capacity is a six figure sum (if possible).

Current full size pickup sells for between $30 and $80k

Actual sale prices are LOWER. They are highly discounted.

Yes, you can normally get 10-15% off, which puts them in that range. Something like a base model regular cab F-150 is $30k and you’re not going to get much off that, nor do they sell many. $80k really is the upper limit though, I agree, which means there’s even more of a gulf in prices.

Average pickup price is around $40k…

Highly Discounted, and they will be forced to push even more discounts, once Tesla simply “Unveils” their decent F150 Competitor!

Not to worry yet, though: Tesla Semi, plus Tesla ‘Large Truck’ (The Pickup that can “Carry” a Pickup) will come first, to give them time to realize ….. Tesla Is Coming For Their Lunch!

*The large Tesla Truck, would be more of a F650 field competitor, where Numbers (TCO comparisons) mean more, anyway!

Base f150 sells for 30k. Real trucks with real torque, like an f350 diesel, will be 60k on up. And EV truck will destroy those diesels.

Tesla will need another giga factory for the Y and pickup – these could easily combine for a million units per year as both markets segments are multi-million units per year each, assuming Tesla can get the price down into mainstream price points.

They will need the existing giga factory with several expansions just for cell/pack production.

Space will probably open up in their existing factory when some of the 3 production is moved over to their proposed Chinese and European Factories.

They’ll probably need another North American factory at some point, but not as soon as some think.

Tesla is definitely gonna need a 2nd U.S. auto assembly plant for the Model Y, which will very likely sell in the U.S. even better than the Model 3.

A lot of people are guessing Tesla will start auto assembly at Gigafactory 1, precisely because Tesla hasn’t announced any plans for a second American assembly plant. Where else are they gonna put new assembly lines within the next year or two? Tesla certainly isn’t going to ship the Model Y from China to the U.S.!

Makes sense to do it there from a logistics perspective … they certainly have lots of space there.

Y Not ⁉️

Hopefully battery prices will be low enough by then to allow utility a seat at the table with aerodynamic efficiency.

2021 in my estimations for mass production

Look on recent YouTube videos discussing latest financials, including time from launch of the Model S, to 1st profitable Quarter, then Time from Launch of Model X to 1st (Next) profitable Quarter, and time from Launch if Model 3 to 1st (again, next) Profitable Quarter, (and their plan to run at least 2 full Quarters as Profitable, even with Bond Payments coming due), and you see a trend: time between launch and profit is compressing faster!

Also, it is expected Model Y will be a Simpler build, compared to the Model 3, versus the Model X was a more complicated build, compared to the Model S!

So, starting, and Ramping up, of Model Y should go faster than it was for their First High Volume Car, the Model 3: maybe as much as 50% to 100% faster; but not much chance it will be slower than 15% to 25% faster, out of the gate, in my estimation!

So, if starting in Q1, 2020, by Q3, they may well be at 50,000 units produced for the Quarter, but it might be Q4, and it might also be 65,000+ units for that Quarter, instead of 50,000!

How fun will it be to see Tesla take on the Ford 150? And The150s fan base?

As a lead in to taking on the F150, it seems that Elon was talking about bringing a Large Truck out, following the Semi, before an F150 Competitor! Remember the “Pickup that can Carry a Pickup?” Think F650 and F550 Competition! First off, I think fewer of those sizes trucks sell, and buyers crunch numbers more deeply, so it would be a nice warmup by doing an entry into the Large Truck field, first! If they take experience from the testing of the New Roadster, with 3 Motors for Speed, and redirect that from speed, to towing torque, and use that arrangement, a Large Truck could tow from 12,000 to 30,000 pounds, easily, depending on Chassis Design, and Battery included! Also, presenting a ‘Short Chassis’ design with 250 kWh packs, a ‘Medium Length’ Chassis with 300 kWh, and a ‘Long Chassis’ design, with 400 kWh (or some such similar idea), would have all sorts of commercial buyers lining up! Like these: Power Company Utility Trucks, Construction Companies, Boom and Crane Truck Companies, Cement Truck Bulders, Dump Truck Builders, Garbage (or: Refuse / Recycle) Trucks, Motorhome Builders, and Towing Companies, that put their rigs on Ford (OR GM/Dodge) Chassis now! Following… Read more »

PLEASE PLEASE let the pickup be a F150 (250 or 350) competitor. I definitely do not want a pickup that can carry a pickup and if Elon wants to continue to electrify the world, he will go after the normal size truck market.

If only Ford and Tesla could have children… 🙂

Too late! I would rather have Cheaper Portal!

The base version won’t cost $45,000. Tesla suggested a price premium of about $5,000 compared to Model 3 — and even that probably implies a higher margin… That is unless they insist on fancy falcon wing doors, I guess.

Ditching the falcon wing doors, which was the biggest mistake made on the Model X, was the right move. However, I see this SUV pulling sales from the Model 3. On top of that, I see the upcoming EV’s from the major manufacturers pulling sales from all Tesla models a few years down the road.

Meh, model 3 wagon please.

… cheap to develop, diversifies the Model 3 range, hot in Europe and more range for your battery buck! I can see Tesla make the wagon cool again in this CUV age.

By 2020, they will say 2025. (Musk’s time).

Why even post nonsense like that. Serious production of Model 3 effectively started about 6 months after the launch target date which wasn’t even remotely realistic to begin with. A minor delay in the grand schemes of things but an endless source of troll fodder.

For those of you pointing out that US car makers lucky that no EV trucks yet, not that rivian vehicles will have an electric truck out in about 1 year. If they do this right, they will put some pressure on GM/Ford/Ram/Jeep. Hopefully, they are smart enough to cut a deal with Tesla for their superchargers. That combo would force these companies to make changes before Tesla hits the market with truck.