Tesla unveils its second electric SUV
Tesla unveiled its new electric crossover SUV, the Model Y, on Thursday evening in Hawthorne.
Chief Executive Elon Musk said the compact SUV would be priced at $47,000 and would debut in a long-range version with a range of 300 miles.
The most-affordable version of the Model Y will have a base price of $39,000, a 230-mile battery range, and will be available in 2021 at the soonest.
Tesla will first focus on the more expensive versions of the Model Y which will be available to customers in 2020, according to the company.
As he unveiled the new vehicle, Musk said he expected Tesla to sell more Model Ys than Model 3s and Model Xs combined.
Production was reportedly set to begin in 2020.
It was not clear where the vehicle would be manufactured although Nevada was seen as the most likely location. There were also doubts that the company could avoid running into the same deadline and scaling problems as with the Model 3 give the lack of spare capacity on hand.
RBC Capital Markets said of the the new SUV: "The vehicle isn’t available for nearly two years and consumers may realize that putting down money early for the Model 3 didn’t yield many benefits. The question in our minds is how much does Model Y cannibalize Model 3? We suspect it could be significant as globally SUVs have become more popular than sedans. Which begs the question, why show the vehicle now? We would have thought the reveal would have been closer to start of production. That said, this should be a more profitable vehicle than the Model 3"
Musk unveiled the new SUV even as he and his company were going through a rough patch.
The SEC had just recently asked for Musk to be charged with contempt for breaking an earlier settlement with the regulator by tweeting "inaccurate and material" information about the company.
And during the previous week, Musk’s security clearance from his company SpaceX was put under review by the Pentagon after he smoked marijuana live on a radio show.
Tesla stock was down 4.09% on Friday.