Tesla may launch its fourth volume production electric vehicle, the Model Y crossover SUV, as soon as the next four months, according to a research note from Deutsche Bank.
The research note – which predicts deliveries could begin in the first quarter of 2020 – was prompted by a report out of Taiwan in late November that Tesla had requested three suppliers to deliver parts for the Model Y a full six months ahead of schedule.
Originally, Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk had said at the vehicle’s unveil in March that the Model Y would be made available for sale in the northern fall (autumn) of 2020.
The Model Y, which would join the Model S, X and 3, will first be available as a Performance model from $US60,000 ($87,640 converted), Dual Motor AWD from $US51,000 ($A74,500 converted) and Long Range from $US47,000 ($A68,650 converted).
This would be followed by a Standard Range model from $US39,000 ($A57,114 converted) six months later – although this may be replaced by a slightly more expensive Standard Range Plus model as per the Model 3.
However, Musk then said at the company’s Q3 2019 earnings call that the company was ahead of schedule and would bring forward the launch three months to summer 2020.
“We’re also ahead of schedule on Model Y preparations in Fremont, and we’ve moved the launch timeline from full 2020 to summer 2020,” Musk said in October.
“There may be some room for improvement there, but we’re confident about summer 2020.”
Musk added that he believes the Model Y will outsell all the electric car maker’s production models combined.
“I’ve actually recently driven the Model Y release candidate and think it’s going to be an amazing product and be very well received. I think it’s quite likely to — just my opinion, but I think it will outsell Model S, Model X and Model 3 combined,” Musk said.
The Taiwanese newspaper Economic Daily reported recently: “Tesla’s fourth model, the Model Y, is accelerating its market launch, and the supply chain has spread.” (Translated from Chinese).
“Recently, Tesla has been successively notified that it requires advance preparation for Model Y mass production, which is about six months earlier than the original schedule. Tesla pulls goods for new models ahead of time, bringing supply chain performance such as Wangmao-KY, Lianjia, and Heda.”
Lianjai is the supplier of Tesla’s headlights, and has seen a 25% annual increase in revenue, and told the Economic Daily that the company has long-term orders reaching through to 2022.
Reduction gear supplier Dacon also confirmed that it has received requests from Tesla to increase the order volume.
Citing the reports, Deutsche Bank’s senior autos and auto technology analyst Emmanuel Rosner wrote on Tuesday that: “Reports from suppliers of Model Y parts in Taiwan are claiming that Tesla is requesting that their orders be delivered much earlier than expected.”
“The Taiwanese suppliers are now indicating that the Tesla is accelerating orders to enter mass production a full six months ahead of the original schedule.
“This would mean that the Model Y could be available to the public in the first quarter of next year. The suppliers additionally claimed that Tesla Semi part orders are being accelerated as well, with the truck set to be released in limited quantity sometime next year.”
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.