An exciting moment was captured on camera on the weekend with the first Model Y – the smaller, cheaper SUV from electric carmaker Tesla – seen driving around on public roads in the US.
A blue version of the all-electric SUV that is based on Tesla’s successful Model 3 was caught on camera and posted to social media channel Twitter by ChargePoint, a leading electric vehicle charging network in the US.
The working prototype of the Model Y, which was first unveiled to the world in mid-March, is not surprising since its architecture is reportedly 3/4 the same as the Model 3.
But with a release date set to be in the northern hemisphere’s autumn of next year, it’s satisfying to see it is out there being tested in real world conditions so soon.
Following the Model Y???????????? pic.twitter.com/TL2bvPmDAW
— ChargePoint (@ChargePointnet) May 10, 2019
With a grey Model S following not too far behind, replete with camera boom, we imagine it won’t be long before the EV maker comes forth with some promotional videos for social media (the car company notoriously does not invest in advertising, so that counts out TV adverts).
It’s a shame, however, that there was only one photo captured – while the rear end of the Model Y is distinctively higher that that of its EV cousin, the Model 3, it would be nice to see a proper side profile.
The Model Y, when it is finally released onto the auto market, makes up the fourth volume production vehicle for Tesla, and completes CEO and founder Elon Musk’s tongue-in-cheek acronym “S3XY”.
It will first be released in its Long Range, Dual Motor, and Performance configurations, ranging from $US47,000 ($A67,300 at today’s rates) to $US60,000 ($A86,000 at today’s rates).
At the vehicle’s launch event in March, Musk said that the Standard Range version of the Model Y would then follow in the northern hemisphere’s spring of 2021, starting from $US39,000 ($A55,900 at today’s rates).
However, now that only the Standard Range Plus version of the Model 3 (as opposed to the Standard Range base model) is available online, and Autopilot now comes as a standard include which has raised the price of all Tesla vehicles, it is likely that the Model Y will also start at a higher price than Musk originally announced.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.