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Tesla’s Model Y may be coming sooner than everyone thought

Published Aug 3rd, 2017 11:31AM EDT
Tesla Model Y Release
Image: Ena/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is never afraid to dream big, but sometimes even Musk has to be forced to scale back some of his more ambitious plans. So it goes with Tesla’s Model Y, a crossover vehicle Musk has been teasing for quite some time now. While we still don’t know too much about the Model Y, Musk earlier in the year said that the Model Y would be based on an entirely new platform that would do away with the 12-volt battery architecture used on the Model 3 and other Tesla vehicles.

This tidbit, not surprisingly, generated a fair amount of intrigue. Specifically, Musk relayed that the Model Y’s new platform would reduce the complexity associated with the electrical wiring during production. This, in turn, would help Tesla streamline its manufacturing process and help it ramp up supply more quickly than usual.

But as it turns out, the Model Y will be based on Tesla’s Model 3 platform, similar to how the Model X was based on the same platform as the Model S. During Tesla’s earnings conference call yesterday, Musk said that Tesla’s management team convinced Musk to abandon the idea of a brand new platform for the Model Y in the interest of releasing the car sooner rather than later.

“Upon the council of my executive team to reel me back from the cliffs of insanity, the Model Y will, in fact, be using substantial carry over from Model 3 in order to bring it to market faster,” Musk said yesterday. “I have to thank my executive team for stopping me from being a fool,” Musk later added. “Model Y will have relatively low technical and production risk as a result.”

Of course, Musk isn’t planning to scrap the idea of a new platform altogether. On the contrary, he’s just putting it on hold for the time being.

“I still think we want to do the crazy thing in the future,” Musk further explained. “But we will want to punt that until after the compact SUV.”

As it stands now, Tesla is hoping to release the Model Y by 2020. Incidentally, the Model Y may sport the same falcon wing doors originally introduced by Tesla’s Model X. And in case you missed it the first time around, below is the Model Y teaser photo Tesla released this past June.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.