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Tesla launches cheaper RWD Model Y in China

Tesla has launched the Model Y RWD Standard Range, a cheaper version of the electric SUV, in China.

It looks like the version of the Model Y is officially back, albeit not in the US.

Earlier this year, Tesla launched a new Model Y Standard Range RWD with 244 miles (393 km) of range.

The launch was surprising considering CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla won’t produce the version of the Model Y because he said that the range would be “unacceptably low” at less than 250 miles (402 km).

Tesla released the version of the vehicle with an EPA estimated range of 244 miles (393 km) and a starting price of $42,000.

A few weeks after the launch, the automaker surprised again by reducing the price of the new base version of the Model Y by $2,000 just a month after launching it.

A few days after that, Tesla ended up removing the new cheaper version from its Model Y configurator – creating even more confusion.

Musk ended up saying that Tesla is still offering the vehicle as an “off the menu” option, which means that buyers need to know about it and order it in person or by telephone.

According to the CEO, the reason for making it an “off the menu” option is because he believes “the range, in many drive conditions, yet meets the Tesla standard of excellence.”

It’s not the first time that the automaker has done something like that – it also delivered on its promise of making a $35,000 Model 3 by making it an off-the-menu item.

The fate of the Model Y Standard Range as off-the-menu item is uncertain since Tesla ended up stopping orders of the Model 3 Standard Range after the launch of the 2021 version.

However, earlier this week, we reported on Tesla bringing back the vehicle in Hong Kong. We thought it might be because the range is not as important in this physically smaller market, but now Tesla is also bringing it to mainland China.

Tesla has now updated the Model Y configurator in China to include the new Standard Range Model Y:

The Model Y Standard Range starts at ¥276,000 or $42,500 USD, which is about the equivalent of what it was when it was listed in the US.

The reason Tesla is able to achieve this price is due to a ¥15,840 EV incentive that can be applied on the ¥291,840 MSRP because the vehicle starts under ¥300,000 – unlike other Model Y trims in China.

It is listed with a range of 525 km (326 miles), but that’s based on the GB Driving Cycle, which is a lot less representative of real-world range than the EPA cycle.

Tesla is talking about deliveries of the new version starting next month in August.

In China, Model 3 standard range vehicles are produced with a LFP battery cell. It’s not clear if this is also going to be the case for the Model Y.

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