The upcoming new Tesla electric vehicles or new versions of existing models are always hot topics and the Model Y is not an exception.
According to Teslarati, Tesla is preparing a new, entry-level Model Y version for the 2023 model year – a “Standard Range” All-Wheel Drive configuration, powered by 4680-type cylindrical battery cells, and produced in Texas.
This speculation is based on the recently received approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for three 2023 Model Y versions:
- Model Y Long Range All-Wheel-Drive
- Model Y Performance All-Wheel-Drive
- Model Y All-Wheel-Drive
Last month, Tesla also received Certificates of Conformity for several Model 3, Model X and Model S models.
We are skeptical whether this is a sign of a new “Standard Range” version of the Model Y, or rather just a sign of a new 2023 model year of the existing 4680-powered Tesla Model Y from Texas, which is very comparable to the 2170-powered Model Y Long Range AWD from California.
We first discovered the Tesla Model Y AWD in the EPA’s database in March 2022 and as it turned out later, it was the new version, equipped with 4680-type batteries, rated at 279 miles (449 km) of range. This version has not yet appeared in the Tesla online design studio, but was offered to employees or appeared in Tesla’s existing inventory at a relatively small scale (production of this type was battery-constrained, as we understand).
For reference, the Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD offers up to 330 miles (531 km) of EPA range, so those two types are really close to each other.
In other words, we guess that it’s too early to say that some new entry-level version is coming. Tesla might rather keep the existing two versions (Long Range AWD and Performance AWD) – produced in California – and, at some point in 2023, the automaker could officially add the Model Y AWD (4680) from Texas to the design studio.
It’s worth to note that in Texas, the company is also producing the Long Range AWD version – probably due to insufficient supply of 4680-type batteries.
Broader availability of the Tesla Model Y AWD is probably the only thing to expect in the near term. Especially because with the $7,500 federal tax credit eligibility for Tesla in 2023, the company is expected to be flooded by a new wave of orders.
Give us your thoughts on whether you think Tesla would be willing to introduce a “true” entry-level version of the Model Y, with about 250 miles of range, like it was in the case of the retired Model Y RWD (244 miles EPA).