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Tesla Model Y: The newest Tesla (for now)

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Tesla Model Y is an all-electric compact SUV built on Tesla's third-generation vehicle platform.

Tesla Model Y

As the newest EV to hit roads for Tesla, the Model Y CUV continues to grow in popularity as a more compact and affordable version of the Model X. It also shares the same platform as the cheapest Tesla in the Model 3, sharing much of the same EV DNA. Here is a background of how the Model Y came to be, along with a breakdown of everything you need to know before purchasing one of your own.

History of the Model Y

Even before the Model 3 made its official debut, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk were already teasing some early versions of the Model Y and its Falcon-Wing doors.

After several years of teasing the public, complete with vague references and silhouette images during shareholder meetings, Tesla finally announced its newest EV, the Model Y, on March 14, 2019.

Production began the following December at Tesla’s Fremont factory, and by March of 2020, the first Model Ys began delivering to customers.

While the initial production of the Model Y has taken place in Fremont, Tesla has made it clear that its future production will continue at its two new gigafactories – Giga Berlin, and Giga Texas. Both of which remain under construction

In the summer of 2020, Tesla revealed it would produce and sell its new Model Y in the Chinese market. Beginning in December of that year, Model Y production commenced at Giga Shanghai.

While the Model Y appears to more closely resemble the veteran Model X SUV because of its size and doors, it actually more closely matches the Model 3, sitting upon the same third-generation platform.

Here’s the latest Model Y news to get you up to speed with the newest of Tesla’s current EV fleet:

Performance specs

As a more affordable version of the Model X, and a roomier version of the Model 3, Tesla’s Model Y falls somewhere in between in terms of both pricing and performance.

As the newest Tesla model available, the Model Y was the first to feature Tesla’s heat pump in lieu of electric resistance for interior cabin heat and battery preconditioning. The heat pump has since been integrated into Tesla’s other models, along with other features like chrome delete trim.

Currently, the Model Y is available in two dual motor, AWD versions – Long Range and Performance. Both trims get their power from a 75 kWh battery pack.

The Long Range Model Y can travel an EPA-estimated 326 miles on a single charge, while reaching a top speed of 135 mph. All while traveling 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

Tesla’s Performance Model Y offers a smaller EPA range of 303 miles, but can hit a top speed of 155 mph and can travel 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Recently, there were rumors about a 400 mile range Model Y after Tesla filed for new versions of the EV with the Chinese government. However, those rumors have been quite exaggerated.

Tesla Model Y

Standard Range RWD Model Y

In January of 2021, Tesla briefly launched a Standard Range RWD version of the Model Y on its website configurator. This single motor option offered 244 miles of range, a top speed of 135 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds.

However, almost as quickly as it emerged, the Standard Range Model Y disappearedElectrek later reported that this Standard Range Model Y would remain available as an “off menu” item for customers who asked Tesla directly about it.

This was due to the fact that CEO Elon Musk was understandably not satisfied with its range. The future of the RWD Model Y remains quiet and uncertain, although it recently received an official EPA rating as one of the most efficient EVs in the world.

In July of 2021, Tesla’s website revealed the Standard Range RWD Model Y had in fact returned as an available option, but only in Hong Kong. In August, Tesla China began delivering the first Standard Range Model Y EVs to customers alongside a full ceremony in which they could pick up their keys and drive off in their new, decorated Tesla.

How much does a Tesla Model Y weigh?

Weight isn’t usually something the average consumer takes into consideration when buying a vehicle, but for those extra savvy Tesla fans, every pound counts when you’re trying to reach maximum efficiency. Especially on an EV like the Model Y, which currently remains Tesla’s second largest vehicle behind the Model X.

Both available versions of the Tesla Model Y currently weigh in at 4,416 lbs. That’s 834 more lbs. than its platform counterpart Model 3 Standard Range Plus, and 351 lbs. more than the other two Model 3 trims.

Other features

In the summer of 2020, Elon Musk told the media that when the Model Y (eventually) sees production at Giga Berlin, it would have a radical redesign of how the EV was manufactured.

This led to Tesla’s unibody casting machine known as the Megacast or Gigapress, combining the front and rear portions of the frame by injecting molten aluminum into one single-cast design.

This unique casting process will take place when Giga Berlin eventually opens, and is already underway in Fremont. Furthermore, the Tesla team has already tested the unibody press at Giga Texas, and plans to utilize it when it opens later this year.

Tesla Model Y / Source: Tesla

Model Y Tow Hitch

While a trailer hitch only comes standard on the Model X SUV, the Model Y is the second Tesla EV to come with the option as an available add-on.

We previously reported that Tesla’s Model 3 would soon be coming with a tow hitch option to match those same models in Europe, but we have yet to see it in the North America.

In the Model Y configurator on Tesla’s website, the tow hitch is currently available as an add-on for $1,000, and offers a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs.

Seven seat interior

Much like its larger, older sibling in the Model X, the Model Y is only the second Tesla to offer seating for seven. Long before the Model Y ever saw deliveries, Tesla was promising a third-row, seven seat option to come.

Unfortunately, it would become a hyped feature that customers had to continually wait for following delay after delay.

By the time the first Model Ys began their initial deliveries in 2020, the third row seats were still not available. Musk later promised that deliveries would begin in early December of 2020.

December came and went without a seven seat Model Y, but Tesla eventually did add the third row option to its purchase page in 2021.

However, it is currently only available on the Long Range trim, and it leaves those third row passengers with very little headroom… and even less legroom.

Tesla Model Y third row

Tesla Model Y vs Model 3: How do they differ?

While the Tesla Model Y and Model 3 share the same platform, there remains quite a bit of difference between the two in terms of dimensions. Here’s a detailed breakdown.

Compared to the Model 3, the Model Y is:

  • 2.2 inches longer
  • 2.8 inches wider in terms of body width. With mirrors extended, it’s 1.6 inches wider.  With mirrors folded, it’s 1.2 inches wider
  • 7.1 inches taller
  • .6 inches longer wheelbase
  • 1.4 inches more front overhang, .2 inches less rear overhang
  • 1.1 inches higher ground clearance
  • 2.2 inch wider track on base wheels, 2.6/3 inch wider track front/rear on 21″ wheels

In terms of interior dimensions, the Model Y has:

  • .7 inches more front headroom and 1.7in more rear headroom
  • .9 inches less front legroom and 5.3 inches more rear legroom
  • Shoulder room is virtually the same
  • .4 inches more front hip room and 1.8 inches less rear hip room
  • 53 cubic feet more rated cargo volume

How much does a Tesla Model Y cost?

When learning about the Model Y or any of the other models currently available, one of the first questions is always, How much does this Tesla cost? And for good reason.

Prices vary depending on what trim you choose, plus a number of add-ons like the aforementioned tow hitch. To give you the full range of what you might pay for a new Model Y, we’re going to give you the high and low end of both variations.

Note: Tesla prices are perpetually fluctuating, but all prices are accurate at the time of this posting and do not include any destination fees, taxes, or federal tax rebates.

The Long Range Model Y price starts at $54,990 and can be priced as high as $73,990 with all available add-ons. This includes red paint, white interior, 20″ Induction wheels, tow hitch, seven seats, and full self-driving (FSD) capabilities.

The Performance Model Y begins at $61,990 for the bare bones version, and can jump as high as $75,990 including the previously mentioned add-ons as well as 21″ Überturbine wheels.

Note – this version only comes with five seats.

How long does it take to charge a Model Y?

Much like the Tesla Model Y pricing, several factors contribute to how quickly (or slowly) you can get your EV recharged and back on the road.

To begin, make sure you have a clear understanding of EV charging standards and how they vary. 

After that, you should be able to better understand the levels of charging, and what sort of times you can expect from each of them with your Tesla.

Charge times can and will vary, but here’s a breakdown of Tesla charge speeds:

  • AC Level 1(110-120V outlet at home): 20-40 hours
  • Level 2 (220-240V – Third party chargers/Tesla chargers/Tesla home charger): 8-12 hours
  • DC fast charger Level 3 (480+ volts – Third party chargers/Tesla Supercharger): 15-25 minutes

The Tesla Supercharger network remains the best choice for long road trips or when you need a quick charge to get to your destination. That being said, the Supercharger network’s massive direct current (DC) is not recommended for daily charging.

Tesla still recommends charging at home with Level 2 whenever possible.

To learn more about Tesla’s Supercharger network, check out our detailed guide.

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model Y?

Again, there are a number of different factors that contribute to this price. This includes what state you live in, the level of charging you’re connected to, and even what time of day it is.

By studying average residential energy costs in the US from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), we can estimate the approximate cost to charge at home on either a Level 1 or Level 2 AC charger.

Cost to charge at home

On its 74 kWh battery, a Tesla Model Y will cost approximately $12.35 on average to fully charge from 0-100% in the US. These numbers also account for an 85% charging efficiency.

In terms of mileage, a Model Y Long Range will cost about $0.038 per mile or $3.79 per 100 miles of range.

The Performance Model Y comes out to about $0.041 per mile, or $4.08 for 100 miles.

Cost to charge at a Tesla Supercharger

Currently, the average commercial cost of electricity in the US is $0.11 per kWh. Accounting for 95% charging efficiency, it will cost a Tesla Model Y owner roughly $8.68 to charge on a Supercharger or DCFC equivalent.

In terms of mileage, the Long Range Model Y costs approximately $0.027 per mile or $2.66 per 100 miles. The Performance Model Y costs about $0.029 per mile and $2.87 for 100 miles of range.

You can check out how much it costs to charge a Tesla in greater detail here. Especially if you’re wondering what charging efficiency is.

Model Y FAQ

Can you lease a Tesla Model Y?

However, there are a number of components to consider as you weigh whether it’s better to lease or buy. Luckily, we’ve already compiled all that information for you.
How much is a Tesla lease? Everything you need to know

Does the Model Y come with free unlimited Supercharging?

Unfortunately, no. As the newest Tesla, the Model Y has yet to see any long-term free Supercharging promotions.
That being said, Tesla briefly offered a year of free Supercharging to new Model Y customers in late December as a push to hit its sales goal.
You can see what Tesla models do qualify here.

What’s the closest Tesla to a Model Y

As previously mentioned, the Tesla Model Y resembles the Model X as a smaller, more compact version of the SUV with the Falcon-Wing doors to match.
However, in terms of dimensions and overall design, the Model Y actually more closely matches the Model 3 sedan.
Check our our Tesla guide to see how each model stacks up side by side.

What is the newest Tesla?

The Model Y remains the newest Tesla current available to consumers after debuting in 2020.
That being said, Tesla has two more EVs confirmed in its production pipeline that will follow the Model Y and become the newest Teslas. Cybertruck is still slated to deliver in 2022, while the second generation Roadster is scheduled to enter production in 2023.

2023 Tesla prices: How much does your favorite model cost?

2023 Tesla prices

Although its lead has started to dwindle a bit going into 2023, Tesla continues to be the true #1 in EVs around the globe by market cap. While other automakers are driving their new electrified models through a door in the automotive industry that Tesla originally kicked in, the American automaker continues to offer four super popular EV models. That being said, prices have risen in recent years and continue to fluctuate… often. Here’s where Tesla prices currently sit in 2023.

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