All variants of the Tesla Model Y will be available by the third quarter of 2020, with Performance deliveries to start in February followed by Long Range variants in March-April, a staff member confirmed to a customer on Wednesday.
The news, which has come directly from a Tesla employee, implies Tesla has every intention of delivering on a goal to ramp up of production to 1,000 units a week – and perhaps even exceeding it – as promised by CEO and co-founder Elon Musk at the company’s Q3 2019 earnings call.
The Model Y was originally slated for a northern hemisphere Fall (Autumn) 2020 release before being brought forward three months to a Summer release, and then to the first quarter of calendar 2020, according to a note from the Deutsche Bank in December.
First whispers of a release in two weeks time of Performance Model Ys on Monday, and the new report comes via social forum Reddit from a customer who was called by a staff member from Tesla’s Oakville store in Ontario, Canada.
“I just received a phone call from an employee at Tesla Oakville, ON who was calling to guide me through the upcoming delivery process for my Model Y,” said Reddit user u/Quaf4.
“I asked when to expect delivery and he told me that the Performance variant will start deliveries next month, and that I could expect my LR AWD in March/April.”
In a later comment the Tesla customer also noted that: “Yeah he said that all configurations would be available by Q3.”
The comments from the customer is in line with recent signals that Tesla is readying for a launch including certification by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and addition of the Model Y to the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) website.
The CARB certification – which is only available so far for the Performance variant – was updated overnight (Australian time) with an increased range from 441.91 miles to 447.17 miles using CARB’s UDDS AER dynamometer driving schedule.
Real world driving range is typically around 70% of the UDDS schedule, so while the new range is not significantly more than the original certification, it does confirm the real world driving range for the Performance Model Y should be around the 310 mile (498km) mark.
This is in line with what Tesla has listed on its US website (reservations are not yet open for Australia/NZ), with the Long Range expected to deliver 322 miles (518km) and the Standard Range Plus 250 miles (402km).
Whether Tesla can now pull off a ramp up of production of the Model Y from its Fremont factory depends on how well it has learned lessons from its troubled 2018 Model 3 ramp up.
But – crucially – it also depends on Tesla achieving its self-imposed goals, something that Tesla grappled with when it targetted 2,500 a week by the end of Q1 2018 and 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of Q2 2018.
In the case of the Model Y, it seems Musk has instead under-promised and over-delivered, starting with a the fall release date.
Will it also over-deliver on a ramp up of production of the Model Y?
“What really matters is the timing of volume production, where volume production is in excess of 1,000 units a week and we’re confident of reaching that earlier than middle of 2020,” said Musk when asked about Model Y volume production at the Q3 2019 earnings call in October.
Tesla is fast approaching its latest earnings and future outlook call next Wednesday (US time), and its rising stock value in past weeks resulted in the company trading at more than $US100 billion – the first time any publicly listed US automaker has reached that threshold.
A successful – and over-achieving – ramp up throughout 2020 could buoy investor sentiment further. Investment firm New Street has just posted Wall Street’s highest price target for the Tesla at $US800 ($A1,163) with analyst Pierre Ferragu noting “Tesla’s ability to execute” as a key reason for the target hike.
Signs that Tesla will carry this all off are now on display at its Gigafactory 3 factory in Shanghai China, where it will also make the Model Y, and which is now reportedly producing 1,000 “Made-in-China” Model 3s a week since the plant opening in late 2019.
All this bodes well for Australia. While many local Tesla customers endured a long three-year wait as the electric car maker smoothed out volume production for the domestic market prior to expansion overseas, the fast-tracking of Model Y production in the US and China suggests that the wait here may not be as long this time around.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that all variants of the Model Y will be available in the current quarter.
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.