On the heels of this week’s Tesla Standard Range Model 3 launch and exciting SpaceX crew capsule test flight, CEO Elon Musk has announced yet another major event: The unveiling of the Tesla Model Y crossover SUV will happen March 14th at Tesla’s Design Studio in Los Angeles.
Musk also dropped a few other details in subsequent tweets, specifically that the Model Y’s final size is about 10% bigger than the Model 3, thus coming with a 10% price increase over that particular vehicle. There will also be a slight drop in range for the SUV since the Model 3 and Model Y will have the same battery options, and the size difference will impact that particular component.
If the final Model Y reveal isn’t exciting enough, Musk also announced that test rides in the newest vehicle from the electric carmaker would be included in the event. With a previously estimated demand of about 1 million Model Y vehicles per year, the crossover SUV is expected to be more popular than the Model 3. That said, this particular vehicle reveal is quite possibly “Part 2” of the beginning of a major point in Tesla history now that the company’s long time goal of producing a $35k electric vehicle has also been met.
In a May 2018 tweet, Musk had predicted on-the-fly that the Model Y reveal date would fall on March 15th, apparently to coincide with the “Ides of March”, the notorious date of the assassination of Julius Caesar which was a major turning point in Roman history. Since this date is traditionally unlucky due to the history surrounding it, a March 14th date for such a major Tesla event is probably a much better choice as superstitions go. As things go when it comes to Musk, however, anything made up on the fly and shared via Twitter has a fairly good chance of becoming reality. (See also: The Boring Company). It’s also notable (and possibly impressive) that “Elon Time” for the Model Y reveal was …timely?
At the end of January, Tesla’s fourth quarter and 2018 full year update clarified the company’s plans for Model Y production. Despite prior hints indicating that Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China would be the manufacturing location, Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada will now be the likely site for the first volume production. Per the report, “This year we will start tooling for Model Y to achieve volume production by the end of 2020, most likely at Gigafactory 1.” Thanks to the lessons learned and 75% shared components with the Model 3, Tesla expects the production ramp to be much faster than experienced with its other vehicles.