Now that the Tesla Model 3 is starting to ship, all the attention is shifting to the Model Y—Tesla’s next vehicle. Tesla CEO recently Elon Musk spoke about the upcoming vehicle and revealed some interesting details.
Tesla’s plan all along was to produce a high end sedan (Model S), followed by a high end SUV (Model X), and then use that money to build an affordable sedan (Model 3) and an affordable SUV (Model Y). Earlier this year, Tesla unveiled the first image of the Model Y but also stated it would be based on a brand new architecture. The decision to use a brand new architecture confused a lot of fans, but Musk’s recent comments on the Model Y help clarify things up.
During Tesla’s earnings call for the past fiscal quarter, Musk opined about the “completely different” build claim he gave about the Model Y’s architecture, completely changing his tune.
“Upon the council of my executive team to reel me back from the cliffs of insanity, the Model Y will, in fact, be using substantial carry over from Model 3 in order to bring it to market faster,” Musk said.
The complete 180-degree turn gives us some insight into the scope of the Model Y. First and foremost, it won’t be as ambitious as the Model S and X were. Instead it will feature some of the Model 3’s elements, which is meant to be a car that can be produced as fast as possible—or at least as fast as Tesla can. Manufacturing has always been something Tesla has struggled with, and continues to be high on its list of improvements.
The Model Y will be a smaller, more compact version of the X. Returning will be the Falcon doors along with other design cues. It will also likely feature the single display panel like the Model 3 if Tesla continues this minimalistic approach with all of its cars.
In terms of simplifying the design, the Model Y is already ditching the 12-volt battery design that’s found in every other Tesla vehicle. This will significantly reduce the amount of electric wiring needed, which will ease production.
“I have to thank my executive team for stopping me from being a fool,” Musk later added. “Model Y will have relatively low technical and production risk as a result.”
Musk previously stated plans to start production on the Model Y by the end of 2019 or early 2020. That lines up with Tesla’s goal of delivering 1 million cars by 2020. The shift in approach will go a long way in assuring Tesla can meet that deadline.