At an exciting and critical time for Tesla, it seems that the electric car manufacturer is already contemplating producing a new vehicle. This comes just weeks after the revelation of the Tesla Model 3, which has been an enormous success for the company based on official pre-order figures.
Tesla’s new model – The Model Y
But attention at Tesla may soon turn to the production of a Model Y vehicle. This is something that the notorious CEO and founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, has hinted at previously, but the latest murmurings suggest that we may see this sooner rather than later.
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The Model Y is expected to be another entry-level vehicle, intended to be an accompaniment to the recently released Model 3. Musk tweeted indicating that only one of these two vehicles would receive the signature Falcon Wing doors which have been included in the Model 3, so this suggests that the Model Y will be something of a redesign of this concept.
Designers have already produced some images of the possible appearance of the Model Y, with renderings of a potential CrossWagon, SportWagon, and coupe version of the Model 3 having all emerged. It seems that there are a wide variety of options available to Tesla with the Model Y, and that it will be a significant departure from the Model 3.
However, what is likely with the Model Y is that the vehicle will share a platform and wheelbase with the existing Model 3, and that the price tag of the vehicle will be in a similar ballpark. But it is also likely that the Model Y will come in a crossover platform that will make it somewhat similar to the Model X. Essentially, Tesla will combine the particular qualities and successes of its existing vehicle range when the Model Y is produced and ultimately released.
It would be logical for Tesla to indeed produce a crossover in the style of the Model 3 when the Model Y is released, for consumers that desire an electric crossover vehicle at an affordable price point. It is generally considered to be the case that the Model X is an outstanding vehicle, but the additional extras and high specifications of the electric car do mean that it comes at a rather hefty price tag.
While there has been no official confirmation from Tesla outside of some social media posts of the existence of the Model Y, this vehicle would make sense for the company. The overwhelming success of the Model 3 has indicated that there is definitely a mass market for electric cars, and Tesla is the sort of corporation that requires a steady cashflow of new products, even based on its own official figures.
There is no doubt that the relatively short history of Tesla has been extremely successful, but the last couple of years have been more fluctuating for the innovative corporation. In particular, the share price of the company has risen and slumped with almost equal extremities in recent months, as Tesla had to cope with the ignominy of having its market capitalization significantly reduced.
Perhaps the reason for this above all else is the embryonic nature of the electric car marketplace which continues to make investors both nervous and sceptical. There is still a consensus of opinion in the investment community that Tesla cannot continue its rapid rise to success, and that the company will struggle to attract new consumers once existing car manufacturers commit themselves to producing electric vehicles.
The Apple Car
One such potential rival for Tesla is Apple, with rumors still multiplying that Apple intends to release an electric vehicle before the end of the decade. The so-called Apple Car will be an obvious rival to Tesla, not least because the two companies have been so intrinsically linked over the last couple of years in particular.
But Tesla has certainly begun to win over its critics and sceptics over the last six months or so, as its stock has almost relentlessly headed in an upward direction. And the recent release of the bargain basement Model 3 was indicative of this trend, as the pre-orders of the vehicle have far exceeded even the expectations of Tesla itself.
The company was able to announce recently that approximately 400,000 people have already reserved a Model 3 car; this was approximately three times the number of pre-orders that Tesla was anticipating. While this will unquestionably pose the company significant logistical challenges, it also indicates that Tesla is becoming a mainstream automaker.
Indeed, Tesla’s Vice-President of Business Development Diarmuid O’Connell recently spoke in Amsterdam at the AVERE E-mobility Conference, assessing that the pre-orders of the Model 3 vehicle deliver “a message to the industry that there’s incredible demand for great electric vehicles out there.”
Tesla plans for new release
This outstanding performance of the Model 3 seems to have emboldened the Tesla hierarchy, and it seems that plans are now afoot for a vehicle to compete alongside the Model 3, likely to be dubbed the Model Y. As more established auto manufacturers such as Audi and BMW move into the electric car niche, Tesla cannot afford to let the grass grow under his feet, and it must move quickly to cement its market position and share.
The overall value of pre-orders for the Model 3 is a pretty staggering $13.7 billion, and yet the vehicle may not even arrive for another two years. Thus, there is plenty of potential for Tesla to increase this figure still more, meaning that its target of delivering 500,000 vehicles by the end of the decade now likely to be a triviality.
While the success of the Model 3 will have opened the eyes of the rest of the automobile industry, and may lead to increased competition in the electric car space, Tesla certainly seems to have valid plans for the future in place. And it seems increasingly that the Model Y will be a significant part of this future.