Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Tesla to unveil Model Y SUV as electric vehicle competition heats up

Tesla to unveil Model Y SUV as electric vehicle competition heats up

Elon Musk revealed the all-electric SUV before Tesla enthusiasts and guests at the LA Design Center on Thursday, and based on the community's reaction; the Model Y seemed to have met expectations. The event will be live streamed. It wasn't until last month that Tesla announced it would take orders for the $35,000 version, which has a shorter range.

First, let's talk about the name: Model Y. The names of Tesla's EV family were deliberate, and the Model 3 was initially supposed to be called the Model E. However, the threat of a lawsuit from Ford forced Tesla to change the name from Model E to Model 3. The Models S and X share just 30 percent of their parts.

The video posted on the social media network shows the Model Y under a auto cover, revealing the car's silhouette. The Model Y will enter the fray at a time when crossovers are an incredibly hot segment of the entire global automotive market, and US demand for the Model 3 compact sedan is starting to taper off. The faster charging speed will also allow Supercharger V3 locations to accommodate more vehicles per hour; a capability that will be beneficial to Model Y owners considering the estimated demand for the all-electric SUV. The heavier Model Y, however, will have less range because of its increased weight and size.

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Viewed from the rear, the Tesla Model Y has a similar profile to the larger Model X but has taillights more akin to those of the Model 3. The Tesla Model Y is an SUV that seats seven passengers comfortably.

While the Model 3 has largely been a sales success for the company, it's also a sedan and that segment hasn't been doing particularly well over the past few years with consumers opting for SUVs at an increasing rate. Tesla said it hopes to build 2,000 Model Ys per week by September 2020.

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