The Tesla Model Y is a vehicle that has largely existed in the realm of speculation over the past years. Long suggested but rarely mentioned, the elusive crossover EV has captured the imagination of the green car community. That is, of course, until now, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has shared what could only be dubbed as the first official teaser image of the upcoming electric vehicle. Needless to say, what could be seen in the preview has gotten EV enthusiasts extremely excited.
The Model Y would be a crossover SUV, much like the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape. That much is certain. Initially, it was rumored that the Model Y would follow in the footsteps of the Model X and be based on its sedan counterpart. Thus, for the past few years, rumors about the Model Y suggested that it would be built on the same platform as the upcoming mass-market EV, the Model 3, just like how the Model X, Tesla’s first SUV, was built on the Model S platform. In a recent Tesla shareholders’ meeting, however, CEO Elon Musk stated that this would not be the case, according to a Forbes report. Considering that the Model Y would also be targeting the same demographic as the Model 3, Tesla would need to ensure that the upcoming crossover EV would be capable of being manufactured at a rapid pace.
“Model Y…there has been some criticism, like we should sort of derive from the Model 3 platform. But I think actually we made a mistake in trying to derive the Model X from the Model S platform. It would have been better to just design an SUV the way an SUV should be designed. Design a sedan, the way a sedan should be designed. Otherwise, you would just try to shoehorn something that doesn’t make sense.”
In a lot of ways, Tesla’s decision to create the Model Y from the ground up would most definitely be a step in the right decision. With the United States pretty much in the middle of an SUV craze, the Model Y would need to cater to numerous customers. According to Musk’s statements at the recent shareholder’s meeting, Tesla actually expects the demand for the Model Y to exceed that of the Model 3. Considering that the Model 3 has hundreds of thousands of pre-orders to date, the EV maker appears to be gearing up for a scale of production never before seen in Tesla’s history.
“But the Model Y vehicle plant will be a new plant, essentially a new Gigafactory that we are going to figure out the exact location of. But there is just no room at Fremont.”
“There are a number of…major manufacturing improvements that can be done that allow us to build the car in a way that a car has never been built before. The capital expenditures I think will be substantially less… So we are aiming for that to hit the roads in 2019 approximately. And probably the demand for Model Y will exceed the demand for Model 3.”
Interestingly, Tesla has also released the first teaser image of the Model Y. The image, which features the vehicle’s outline, has managed to get numerous EV aficionados extremely excited, according to Jalopnik, especially due to a particular quirk in the crossover’s overall design. For one, the outline of the Model Y in the teaser image does not feature any side mirrors at all. Considering that side mirrors are pretty much a legal requirement on roads, numerous speculations have emerged about what type of technology Tesla would likely implement on the upcoming crossover SUV.
Numerous Tesla fans are speculating that the Model Y would most likely feature a series of camera mirrors, which would be found in the cabin of the upcoming vehicle. Others, on the other hand, are speculating that the Model Y would be fully autonomous, relying on cameras on the vehicle’s exterior. Considering that the crossover SUV would likely be released in the next two to three years, it would be interesting to see the bells and whistles Tesla really has in store for the future EV and its loyal, ever-growing fan base.
[Featured Image by Tesla]