Today, Tesla has not only shared its impressive first quarterly earnings report but has also dropped hints about the upcoming Model Y all-electric crossover vehicle as well. We now have details of a tentative launch window, coupled with some tantalizing changes to the overall design and underlying platform of the vehicle.
Post the earnings report, CEO Elon Musk spoke to investors over a conference call and shared salivating details about its next electric crossover vehicle — Model Y. He has yet again attracted eyeballs towards the company as the crossover vehicle is expected to make its debut sometime in ‘late 2019’ or ‘2020’ at best. He further mentioned that achieving the targeted date is necessary as Tesla is planning to achieve its goal of building 1 million cars per year by 2020. Musk added,
We need to come out with the Model Y sometime in 2020 or, aspirationally, late 2019.
Be ready to be surprised with the unveiling of the Model Y. Musk has today also confirmed that the said crossover vehicle (or maybe a pickup truck, who knows!?) will be powered by a completely new EV platform. Instead of repurposing the existing designs from the Model 3 or Model S, the automaker is planning to overhaul the platform and build it from scratch. The release of their new crossover vehicle would complete the lineup — Model S, 3, X, Y — and there’s an all-electric pick-up truck in the works as well.
This is a significant change as Tesla’s CEO had previously suggested that it would be utilizing the existing platform – the one employed in its upcoming Model 3. It will be a huge departure from the current platform as the automaker plans to eliminate the 12-volt battery architecture. The same is currently used in gasoline/petrol-powered vehicles and powers most of the interior components such as the air conditioner/heater, power seats, and the infotainment system.
This means you may no longer require lead-acid batteries and see a new technology power the in-car system in the Model Y. This is a tantalizing idea as it reduces the amount of wiring and manufacturing process, thus cutting the cost — which fits with Musk’s plans. If the automaker is successful in replacing the existing technology with an upgraded, cheaper one then it could be looking to drive other carmakers along with it — while it is exceeding them in market cap. They’ll also adopt the said platform to improve their vehicles’ costs and efficiency.
Currently, Tesla is focused on keeping the production of its affordable, mass-production Model 3 electric sedan on track– and has today also confirmed that the same is true. It has not only been producing an enormous number of battery packs for the vehicles at its Nevada-based Gigafactory but has also introduced several changes to its Fremont (California)-based production line as well. Tesla is gunning to start production in July, while shipping starts out in September — a couple months later.
This $35,000 all-electric sedan was first announced about a year ago and has amassed over 400, 000 pre-orders since then. This will most likely be the first time that Tesla would actually deliver a vehicle on time — as promised — else it has always delayed the launch. It has recently scored a massive $1.2 billion investment (also Tencent picked up 5 percent stake) to throttle through Model 3 production at 5,000 vehicles per week this year. It plans to increase the same to 10,000 vehicles per week next year, by raising additional money — nothing this year.