The prototype of the Model Y, the all-electric SUV crossover planned by Tesla, has been approved for production by Elon Musk, but it seems that the CEO and founder is most excited by the one of the products that will follow – the Tesla Ute.
The Model Y is due to be the next model that the carmaker intends to add to its stable of EVs, completing the S3XY series that began with the Model S, and is continued by the Model 3 and Model X.
In this week’s earnings call, Musk confirmed that “we’ve made significant progress on the Model Y,” and he has approved the prototype. Volume production and sales are slated for 2020.
Musk has previously said the Model Y could be produced as soon as March 2019 – albeit in a tongue in cheek tweet from May 2018, in which he threw out the date March 15 as a reference to the Ides of March (perhaps because the introduction of a Tesla SUV will amount to the assassination of other carmakers?).
He followed that up though with the comment that Tesla watchers could “consider it real”.
But consider it real. We could unveil Model Y anytime from late this year to mid next year, so March 15 is about right.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2018
However, in today’s call Musk confirmed that in fact, the Model Y will go into volume production in 2020.
When it does go into production, it could also be made at Tesla’s Chinese gigafactory, as the EV maker just filed a document with the Shanghai governement in regards to its Chinese factory indicating it intends to build two models there.
Musk also also told the phone briefing that Tesla is also progressing on the new Tesla Roadster, on an electric semi and perhaps most famously, an electric pickup, or what Australians would call a Tesla Ute, that Musk previously touted on Twitter, asking fans what they’d like to see built into it.
Musk said that personally, he is “excited about the pickup truck – that’s going to be some next level stuff there” likely including the ability to use the battery to power all the tools needed for the tradesman. Watch this space.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.