The latest speculation to sweep social media – and this time citing “informed sources” within Tesla, suggests that the first deliveries of the Tesla Model Y electric crossover will begin in two weeks.
As Tesla prepares to report on its outlook and earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019 next Wednesday (Jan 29) amid a strong stock rally that has seen its shares nearly treble since June 2019, the “confirmation” from Twitter user Moez via a Tesla employee is another signal that Tesla’s newest and potentialy biggest selling model is due for imminent release.
— Moez (@moez) January 18, 2020
It follows news that Model Y Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) can now be searched and listing of the Model Y to the Tesla’s manufacturer’s list on the NHTSA website, as well as certification of the Model Y by the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) on January 9.
The Model Y – which was originally slated for a release in the US fall (autumn) and subsequently brought forward three months – is Tesla’s fourth production electric car and its second high-volume model after the very successful Tesla Model 3.
It was first unveiled to a global audience in March 2019 and will first be available in the US in a rear-wheel drive Long Range variant from $US43,700 ($63,517 converted), as well as an all-wheel drive Long Range from $US47,700 ($A69,331 converted) and all-wheel drive Performance from $US56,700 ($A82,412 converted).
If the rumour that Model Y deliveries start in two weeks (that is, in the first days of February) proves correct, it will mean Tesla has gone from certification to deliveries in a similar timeframe.
How many will be delivered remains to be seen however, as the CARB certification is most likely for “Founder Series” Model Ys which will be given away through Tesla’s referral program.
As the crossover stablemate to Tesla’s “mass-market” Model 3 sedan, the Model Y carries some 75% of identical parts, but differs in that it will have a hatch back rather than a boot.
It will also be available as a 7-seater for an additional $US3,000 ($A4,360 converted) from 2021 according to the US Tesla website, using space from the rear hatch area.
Tesla has not released any official images of the Model Y’s third row seats other than what we saw in a rendering during the March 2019 launch.
There has been much speculation about the third row seats, and whether or not they will indeed be roomy enough to accommodate 7 adults as Tesla’s website claims.
Images of the Model Y interior – most notably the second rear row – have emerged. First published in a Reddit post in September 2019 and reposted on Saturday and Sunday by several established EV news sites, the images show two seats that have been fitted between the rear wheel wells, with two cupholders in between.
We will leave you make your own decision on how roomy they appear to be, but will also leave you with a recent video that gives a glimpse of how these seats fit in behind the first row rear seats – thank goodness there is a “frunk” (front trunk) in the front!
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.