The Tesla Model Y may launch in Australia with a series of feature enhancements.
ZE Car reports the electric SUV will receive a raft of running improvements before it’s introduced here either late in 2022 or early in 2023.
Chief among these is a new 16-volt lithium-ion auxiliary battery, replacing the old 12-volt lead acid battery.
It’s said to be smaller, lighter and longer-lasting, and can be recharged alongside the main battery pack.
The Model Y will also reportedly receive double glazed windows at the rear, too, and not just the front, while a folding parcel shelf for the boot will be standard.
In what may perhaps be considered a retrograde step, the standard no-cost paint colour will reportedly no longer be Pearl White Multi-Coat. Instead, it’ll be Solid Black.
ZE Car also notes the addition of a more powerful AMD Ryzen processor and longer tail light bulbs that are already found in new Model 3s today.
Tesla is known for making running hardware changes, as well as pushing over-the-air software updates, so it’s possible more changes could be made before the Model Y’s local launch.
Our Model Ys will be sourced from Tesla’s Shanghai plant in China, from where local Model 3s are also sourced.
It’s been a long wait for the Model Y in Australia.
Deliveries of US-built models began in that country in March 2020, while Shanghai-built models started reaching Chinese customers in January 2021. It was originally expected to launch here later in 2021.
Pricing from a guide for “corporate and industry customers”, published by Chasing Cars earlier this month, reveals the Model Y will start at $67,990 before on-road costs for the Standard Range model and extend to $98,172 before on-roads for the all-wheel drive Performance.
That starting price aligns the Model Y RWD with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 RWD ($71,900 before on-roads) and Kia EV6 Air RWD ($67,900 before on-road costs).
The entry-level Model Y is $4090 more expensive than the equivalent Model 3, while the range-topping Model Y Performance is just shy of $10,000 more expensive than its sedan cousin based on the leaked pricing.
Missing is a mid-range, non-Performance all-wheel drive model, though this could appear later in the vehicle’s life.
The Model Y will offer a choice of 62.28kWh and 82.8kWh battery packs when it arrives in Australia. The smaller of the two batteries will be used in the Standard Range, with the larger battery reserved for the Performance.
Tesla Australia claims the Model Y will offer a range of up to 505km, down from the 602km range claim for the Model 3 Long Range AWD, and the 547km it claims for the Model 3 Performance AWD.
It’ll enter a segment that’s becoming increasingly crowded, with the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Mercedes-Benz EQA having already debuted locally and an updated Volvo XC40 Recharge due mid-year alongside the related C40 Recharge coupe SUV.
Genesis will soon introduce its GV60, and the Volkswagen Group has indicated it’ll field its Skoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID.4 crossovers in 2023.
Tesla has been able to ensure significantly better supply of its Model 3 to Australia than the likes of the Ioniq 5, EV6 or Polestar 2, even as wait times have blown out to as much as nine months.
It stands to reason, then, Tesla may be able to secure comparable supply of the Model Y for Australia. Given it’s an SUV in a market clamouring for them – and a market where EVs are growing quickly, if from a low base – the Model Y could be a hit for the brand.
The Model 3 accounted for almost two-thirds of EV sales (4417) in Australia in the first quarter of this year, and it was the most popular passenger vehicle in Australia during March and the fifth top-selling vehicle overall.
The caveat here is Tesla tends to deliver vehicles to customers in large batches, which may mean we’ll see a drop in the VFACTS tally for April.
MORE: Everything Tesla Model Y