Tesla’s Model Y will be the company’s first crack at the all-too popular crossover segment. With its first expected deliveries to take place in 2020, one thing is for sure: The most popular electric vehicle brand in the U.S. will hit another home run with the Model Y, and the fact that it is not the first crossover EV on the market will benefit Tesla in the long run.
There is an old saying that states, “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” In the case of a fully electric crossover vehicle, Tesla is the mouse here, and the fact they are releasing their introductory crossover long after other manufacturers have already released theirs is an advantage for the Silicon Valley-based automaker.
The Jaguar I-Pace, Kia Niro EV, Audi e-Tron, and the Hyundai Kona Electric have all made their way into the American market, giving consumers who want an electric car with the versatility of a crossover the opportunity to own one. But one issue with being the first to release a vehicle with that body style is this: other manufacturers will take the mistakes you made, and improve upon them in their own vehicles. Crossover EVs will continue to evolve into more complex and effective machines, meaning first is not necessarily the best in this case.
But why has Tesla been so successful? There are a few reasons as to how they’ve become the industry standard for electric cars. The first being that they exclusively make vehicles not powered by fossil fuels, an important concept to the prospective buyer who is interested in the sustainability aspect of the industry.
Manufacturers like Audi and Jaguar who are releasing their first cracks at an electric vehicle are making strides, but they’re still primarily focused on creating cars powered by gas. It is hard for someone, especially those who believe wholeheartedly that the future of transportation must be electric, to support a manufacturer whose main focus is on gas-powered machines, even if they are transitioning to producing electric cars. The sales figures of all-electric crossovers like the Audi e-Tron, the Hyundai Kona EV, The Jaguar I-PACE, and the Kia Niro EV, all of whom reportedly did not even breach a thousand units in sales for September, further emphasizes this point.
The Model 3 has become the most popular electric vehicle on the market, selling over 19,000 units in the month of September alone. This figure is around eight times as many as the next closest competitor, according to Forbes. The future of Tesla is slowly navigating away from the Model S and Model X, and the Model 3 and Model Y are where the company will shape its focus.
“To be totally frank, we’re continuing to make [the Model S and Model X) more for sentimental reasons than anything else. They’re really of minor importance to the future,” he said, noting the cost-effectiveness of the 3 and the Y are important, as they are cheaper to produce and more affordable for consumers.
Tesla’s decision to release the Model Y after the Model 3 is all for a good reason. It is obvious the company is already focused on creating a perfect vehicle, and we know Mr. Elon Musk won’t give the loyal Tesla consumer anything short of perfect. With continually improving vehicles due to the company’s ability to utilize Over-the-Air software updates, any issues that may come up will likely be addressed by the automaker and improved upon over time. Among carmakers vying for the lucrative crossover EV segment, after all, few can match Tesla’s drive and dedication to develop the right EV for the right buyers.