Musk adds new Model Y to electric auto line-up

Now for the Model Y, which Tesla says will eventually start at $39,000 for the Standard Range version.

Mercedes hopes to lure Tesla customers with its EQC, which launches this year with a range about the same as the Audi e-tron's.

This blindsided employees and investors alike, and Tesla backtracked 10 days later, saying in a blog post that more stores would remain open and that it will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3 percent on average worldwide.

Three years later, affordable long-range electric vehicles no longer have such a pent-up demand.

For more details on the Model Y's specs, customization options, and pricing information, visit Tesla's website. It's not clear how much the Model Y will be able to do without driver intervention, especially considering legal hurdles.

For the entry-level Model 3 Standard Range, Tesla quotes an estimated range of 220 miles.

The SUV is roomier than a Tesla Model 3 and can seat seven.

The Performance model will live up to its name, launching from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and hitting a top speed of 150 miles per hour, all the while sporting what Tesla promises will be "excellent handling for any road condition". The range after the relatively realistic EPA evaluation is expected to be 230 miles (370 kilometers). The top speed for this variant is 120 miles per hour.

Much of the event centered around Elon Musk's reflecting on the progress that Tesla has made both in its own goals as a vehicle company, but also in moving the industry toward moving to more electric cars. The increased commonality should make the Model Y easier to integrate into current assembly processes and make it somewhat less expensive to produce. You also get a panoramic glass roof and the usual slew of Autopilot and Full Self-driving capability. The spartan interior doesn't include much more than a 15-inch touchscreen where most of the car's controls are located. He correctly predicted the standard version of the Model Y would cost $39,000 and that it may take the company two years to make that version available.

The Y comes with a suite of 12 ultrasonic sensors and a 160-meter forward radar system.

Elon Musk at a Tesla press event on Thursday evening announced the electric automaker's latest vehicle.

Musk predicted that a Standard Range Plus version of the auto, at a starting price of $37,000, would be more popular.

Tesla's Model Y reveal underwhelmed us ... The new Model Y may also help Tesla shift its lineup toward the tastes of US consumers, who are increasingly ditching sedans for bigger crossovers and SUVs. In addition, there's a $3,750 tax credit if the vehicle is purchased before the end of June, and costs of ownership are lower than those of a gasoline-powered auto.

Justifying that price tag is the Model Y's larger body. In its Q4 2018 update letter, released January 30, Tesla suggested Nevada: "Additionally, this year we will start tooling for Model Y to achieve volume production by the end of 2020, most likely at Gigafactory 1".

At the risk of sounding cynical, I couldn't help but wonder how many early adopters of the Model 3 are going to go out and buy the Model Y as a replacement.

Vanessa Coleman

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