Production of the Model Y is expected to begin in late 2020 for North America.
It's been nearly three months since the Tesla Model Y was revealed to the world. While pricing details and specification for Tesla's affordable electric crossover were announced, the production location wasn't confirmed as Elon Musk has been debating whether the Model Y should be produced in California or Nevada.
Tesla currently makes the Model S, Model X and Model 3 in Fremont, but produces battery packs and drive units at its gigafactory near Reno, Nevada. The automaker has been assessing the pros and cons of each location, including space constraints and labor costs due to the Bay Area's high cost of living.
A final decision still hasn't been made yet, but during an hour-long Ride the Lightning Podcast Musk said that Tesla's current "default plan" is to produce the Model Y at its sole auto plant in Fremont, California. "Right now our default plan actually is to produce the Y at Fremont," Musk said. "I was skeptical about whether this made sense at first but my team convinced me the fastest way to get to volume production is to do the Y at Fremont."
The Model Y was unveiled back in March, but the reveal event was low key compared to other Tesla model reveals. "I intentionally didn't go all out with the Model Y reveal because I didn't want to convince people to buy a Y instead of a 3," Musk explained. "If everyone just decided to buy a Y instead of a 3 there would be no customers and there wouldn't be a Y." A final decision for the location should be announced soon considering that production of the Model Y is expected to begin in late 2020 for North America and in early 2021 for Europe and China.
Let's just hope the Model Y doesn't suffer the same delays as the Model 3 did at Fremont. The last thing Tesla needs is more bad publicity if the Model Y suffers the same fate as the Model 3, particularly as it has the potential to become Tesla's best-selling model.
Pricing for the base Model Y starts at $40,000, which will include a 230-mile range and a 5.9-second 0-62 mph time. The Long Range model, on the other hand, costs $48,000 with Dual Motor All-Wheel and increases the range up to 280 miles while dropping the 0-62 mph time to 4.8 seconds. The range-topping Performance Model starts at $60,000 and matches the Dual Motor's 280-mile range while dropping the 0-62 mph time to just 3.5 seconds.