Elon Musk has provided more details about when the Tesla Model Y sports utility vehicle may debut. In the early hours of Thursday morning on Twitter, Musk responded to a question from a user about when the cheaper version of the Model X may debut, before returning to discussing his plans for a media credibility site called “Pravda”.
The CEO initially suggested that the car would debut on March 15, only to follow up by explaining that it was a reference to the Ides of March. Instead, the company could unveil in a launch window of around “anytime from late this year to mid next year.” This is not necessarily the same date as the start of production, though — while Reuters reported last month that Tesla could start as soon as November 2019 on an “aggressive, but possible” timetable, Musk said during this month’s earnings call that the report was “based on nothing” and a more likely target was “closer to 24 months from now […] early 2020.”
Expect big improvements from a production standpoint. While the Model 3 was already built with manufacturing in mind, Musk said during the earnings call that “there’s no question we could have made the Model 3 much easier to produce than we have.” The Model Y, by comparison, will be “a manufacturing revolution” and “incredible from a manufacturing standpoint, because we do not want to go through this pain again.”
The Model Y continues Tesla’s project to expand to a broader audience. Where the $35,000 Model 3 that entered production last July offered a cheaper sedan than the existing Model S, so too will the Model Y offer a cheaper version of the Model X. Tesla has a backlog of around 400,000 orders for the Model 3, which means a major push to ramp up manufacturing. With this in mind, Musk said during the earnings call that the production location for Model Y has not been decided, as the company is currently “jammed to the gills” at the Fremont plant in California.
The Model Y comes at a busy time for Tesla. While the company is working to produce the Model 3, it’s also planning to launch its all-electric Semi truck onto roads starting next year. The company then plans to release its second-generation Roadster the following year.
Tesla is expanding at rapid pace, and it’s about to move faster.