Orders for Tesla’s Model Y electric crossover are strong after the Standard Range Plus version was launched in China, it has been reported.
China – and notably Hong Kong, which is a right-hand-drive market like Australia – is the first market where the Standard Range Plus has become available. The Model Y is still only available in the US in the Long Range and Performance variants.
Launched late last week for ¥276,000 ($A57,339 at today’s rates) before a “new energy vehicle” subsidy amount of ¥15,840 ($A3,290) is applied, the Model Y Standard Range Plus has a driving range of 525km according to the NEDC range which China uses. In real world driving this would mean about 367km driving on a single charge.
And according to Chinese media outlet Baidu, orders for the Model Y are exceeding market expectations.
While the Chinese auto market bears a 12.4% slump in sales compared to June 2020 due to the ongoing global chip shortage according to Reuters, Teslas sales were up 122% year-on-year in June with 33,155 units sold (5,000 or so of which were exported) – and a mere 300 short of May’s sales.
“This time the booking volume of Model Y is indeed very hot,” Baidu reports a staff member of the Beijing Wangjing Tesla Experience Center said in an interview.
The new Model Y SR+ won’t be delivered until September however, meaning the June sales numbers do not include the surge in orders as Tesla does not record a sale until delivery.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has high hopes for the Model Y. At the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, he said: “When it comes to Model Y, we think Model Y will be the best-selling car or vehicle of any kind in the world and probably next year.”
Considering the market performance of Model 3 in the past two years, this is a fair call. In China, the Tesla Model 3 has proven a market winner.
Media reports that suggested demand for Tesla electric cars had plummeted by half to less than 10,000 in May were proved to be incorrect, and registration numbers for the previous month of April of a little more than 12,000 were presumed a result of exports to Europe and other Asia-Pacific regions by Cleantechnica’s Jose Pontes.
The latest numbers show that demand for the Californian EV brand has clearly not waned. And it is not only taking on EV competitors but the luxury car market.
Data shows that in the first half of this year, Tesla sold 160,000 vehicles in China, accounting for nearly 15% of the total delivery of 1,087 million domestic new energy passenger vehicles and 42% of the company’s global sales.
Baudi reports that Sina Financial columnist Lin Shi said: “Tesla’s greatest lethality to rivals and the greatest contribution to consumers is to gradually break the pricing advantage of the price spectrum of luxury brands. For BBA (as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are collectively referred to), after the price of mass production falls, the pressure will be very great in the future.”
The Model Y is not yet available in Australia but is expected in coming months.
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.