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Tesla Announces Plans For New Model Y

Author: Jason Snyman
Date: 2018-05-10
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has announced plans for the next vehicle in their line-up. What do we know about the Model Y so far?
Tesla has been busy of late, and rumours are swirling. There’s talk of an electric pickup truck, the Tesla Semi is coming along nicely and then there’s the latest car, too. Elon Musk has officially announced the next model in Tesla’s S3XY line-up. The forthcoming electric crossover, the Model Y, is scheduled to go into production early 2020. Let’s take a look at what we know so far.

Model Y – A Manufacturing Revolution

Tesla is still struggling to get its mass-market Model 3 off the production line in a timely fashion. Musk has stated that the automaker aims to end these woes with the Model Y. The deciding factor, then, will no doubt be the manufacturing process.
“I think the Model Y is going to be a manufacturing revolution,” Musk said, adding that the new model will be “incredible from a manufacturing standpoint.”
At the moment, Tesla just doesn’t have the space to begin assembly on a new vehicle. The Model Y will probably not be built in any of the existing factories, then, but someplace new. Musk is yet to disclose further details, but as far as rumours go we may be seeing two new Tesla factories popping up any day soon. This includes a Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. Musk has already stated that Tesla plans to do away with the 12-volt battery architecture currently used in the other models. By doing so, the automaker could reduce the length of electric wiring required and thereby reduce automation. It would simplify the entire production process. Musk has also said that he plans on introducing more robots into the Tesla production line. Tesla’s vehicle manufacturing is already quite automated, with robots such as one nicknamed ‘Flufferbot’ – tasked with placing fibreglass mats on top of the vehicle’s battery packs. According to the Tesla CEO, the automation will be used to greater strategic effect for the Model Y.  

What We Know About The New Tesla

In an earnings call last week, Musk said that Tesla is yet to spend any hard capital on the Model Y. Early product designs have already begun, though. In an effort to bring the car to market as soon as possible, the Model Y will be built on a similar chassis to the Model 3. So, we know what it’s going to look like, more or less, thanks to the shadowy image provided. We also know what kind of customer base they’re aiming for. We also know that the Model Y will feature Falcon Doors, like the Model X. Further information is still pretty thin at the moment. All we really have to go on is what Musk himself has deemed fit to disclose. From statements and tweets, we know that the Model Y will be Tesla’s first compact SUV offering. This makes complete sense, given the great success enjoyed by other SUV manufacturers such as Toyota, Jaguar and Volvo. Musk himself has referred to the SUV market as the “biggest product segment in the world.”
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