The Model Y RWD (rear-wheel drive) model, an SUV variant with a single motor powering its rear axle, is currently available on Tesla’s U.S. website. Tesla predicts that the Model Y RWD will cost $43,990 and have a range of 260 miles. Tesla previously offered a base Model Y AWD (all-wheel drive) for $47,490, which is $3,500 more expensive than this new RWD model.
Compared to NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) batteries, which has a longer battery life but a lower range, the new variant is likely powered by less expensive LFP (lithium iron phosphate) batteries. Tesla says the new RWD qualifies for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit, which means this model may be purchased for as little as $36,490 if consumers meet specific income requirements. A buyer’s AGI (adjusted gross income) shouldn’t exceed $150,000 for an individual or $300,000 for a married couple filing jointly.
Tesla didn’t specify where the Model Y RWD is built, but it may be produced at Giga Austin, which currently makes the SUV and, if production starts, the Cybertruck. Nevertheless, the company has a Model Y RWD assembled in China and at the company’s more recent gigafactory in Berlin.
The debut of a new model comes after Tesla’s global sales for the third quarter fell short of analyst projections. Tesla claimed to have delivered 435,059 automobiles globally, of which over 419,000 were Model Y and Model 3 vehicles, and about 16,000 were more expensive Model X and Model S vehicles. The Wall Street consensus estimated 456,722 deliveries.
In the near future, Q4 will likely be a significant quarter for Tesla, with the introduction of the cheaper model in the US, the recently updated Model 3 sedan in some markets, and Cybertruck deliveries anticipated by the end of the year.