The Tesla could be heading for a 100-mile advantage.
The Tesla Model Y already has the edge over its competitors when it comes to range, having received a range increase last year. Currently, the Long Range has a range of 326 miles and the Performance variant - which can get to 60 mph in only 3.5 seconds - isn't too far behind with a range of 303 miles. However, the Model Y can't yet match other Teslas like the Model 3 (maximum range of 353 miles) and the Model S (up to a claimed 520 miles). This could all be set to change later this year thanks to the automaker's latest battery technology and a revealing tweet from Elon Musk.
The new battery cell is known as 4680 which references its diameter and height. At five times the size of the older batteries, the 4680 will provide significantly greater energy storage than the older 2170 battery cell used in the Model Y.
This week on Twitter, Elon Musk confirmed that the new Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas will begin producing 4680-equipped Model Ys as soon as it is completed. When up and running, the new factory is expected to create 15,000 new jobs. For EV buyers, the move to 4680 Model Ys means that Tesla's baby SUV could soon see a significant increase in range.
Inside EVs believes that it would be technically possible for the Model Y to attain a range of 400 miles with the battery update. An efficiency increase of 22.7% would be required to get the Model Y Long Range to a 400-mile range but this is below Tesla's previous statement that the new battery pack could improve efficiency by 30%.
A 400-mile range would give the Model Y a significant edge over the new Ford Mustang Mach-E, which has a maximum range of 300 miles in RWD, extended-range guise. However, the supply of the 4680 cells will be limited initially with volume production only expected in 12 to 18 months.