The Tesla Model Y joins a growing range of electric SUVs in the car segment that has become very popular in many parts of the world, including Australia.
Its launch last Friday at the Californian EV maker’s LA Design Studio, in a rock-star style event hosted by CEO and founder Elon Musk, has generated a great deal of interest about the newest electric vehicle by Tesla from the public and media.
Starting at $US39,000 ($A55,000 at today’s rates) for the base model (which will be available from the northern spring of 2021, the Model Y will first be available as either a rear-wheel Long Range version, a Dual Motor AWD or a Performance version .
These will be available for $US47,000, $US51,000 and $US60,000 ($A66,300, $A72,000 and $A84,600 at today’s rates respectively) from the northern autumn 2020.
Billed as a “cut-price” electric SUV, comparisons that have been bandied about include that the latest EV from Tesla is basically a smaller lower-priced cousin of its premium, roomier stablemate Model X, or a slightly amped up neighbour to its comparably priced stablemate, the Model 3 electric sedan.
But what can the Model Y reasonably be compared to?
The Driven has put together a chart (that you can look at here and see below as an image) that takes all the specifications we know about the Model Y and pits them against a range of other EVs including premium electric SUVs and more affordable models such as the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric and Hyundai Ioniq.
All will be available in Australia by the end of the year, according to their respective manufacturers, with the exception of the Model 3 base model and of course, the Model Y itself.
From first glance, it is clear that the Tesla Model X is not only vastly superior to the Model Y in terms of driving range and roominess – but then so again is the price.
The Jaguar i-Pace and Audi e-tron are also considerably more expensive than the Model Y.
But, they are comparable in terms of driving range, as well as length and height – and most notably, space – the Model Y boasts 1900 litres of interior volume compared the e-tron’s 1725 litres of interior space, and totally outpaces, well, the i-Pace’s 1163 litres.
Comparing the Model Y to more affordable models, it is clear that the Model Y is larger in terms of length and volume for both Hyundai models and the Leaf – a good 600mm and almost 800 litres in the case of the compact electric Kona SUV, although the Kona is almost the same height.
That said, the Kona EV is the only smaller and cheaper model that beats the Model Y other than its stablemate Model 3 in terms of driving range.
Overall, the Model Y may be “cut-price” but it seems its specifications in terms of range and interior volume are not (keeping in mind if choosing the 7-seater option, actual cargo space may be limited).
What other comparisons can be drawn, what have we missed and what else would you like to see?
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.