Tesla to release 5 more Model Y variants in Shanghai
Tesla has applied to the Chinese government to produce five more versions of the Model Y at the Gigafactory Shanghai. This may also involve larger batteries for the standard range variants.
According to Electrek, some of these versions could be intended exclusively for export, while others are purely for the Chinese market. Among the five variants applied for are two standard-range models, one with an electric motor built in China (thus probably for the domestic market) and one version with an imported motor, which could be meant for export. However, these speculations have not been confirmed by either the Chinese government or Tesla.
The five variants are given ranges of 525, 545, 594, 566 and 640 kilometres – but not measured in WLTP. It is not known whether this is the NEFT, which has been used in China for a long time, or the new CLTC (China light-duty vehicle test cycle). A comparison with the 505 kilometres according to WLTP for the long-range version and 480 kilometres for the performance model, which were previously stated in Europe, is not permissible.
The two versions with 525 and 545 kilometres apparently have an LFP battery, their energy density is given as 126 Wh/kg. The version with 594 kilometres should already be an NCA battery, the energy density is 161 Wh/kg – however, the top speed is 217 km/h, as with the two LFP versions. The last two versions with 566 and 640 kilometres have a 168 Wh/kg battery – the 566-kilometre version, however, is rated at 250 km/h.
Electrek speculates that the 594-kilometre model is probably the Long Range AWD, while the 566-kilometre version should be the performance model with the same battery. Electrek believes that the fifth version with 640 kilometres is a Long Range RWD – Tesla had temporarily offered such a rear-wheel drive version with a large battery for the Model 3 but cancelled it before exports to Europe began.
This is not very likely since, in the documents, two motors are specified for all three versions with NCA batteries. The engine on the front axle has a power output of 137 kW, the difference is in the rear-mounted engine: 180 kW, 220 kW and 194 kW are specified here.
European approvals suggest that there will soon be a Model Y Standard Range in Europe. As Teslamag writes with reference to a post in the TFF Forum, the Model Y Standard Range, like the Model 3, will have a battery with LFP cells from CATL. The documents state an energy content of 60 kWh and a WLTP range of 455 kilometres.
The 60 kWh LFP battery would be five kWh larger than the current LFP battery in the Model 3 SR+. However, according to the documents, the Model 3 will also get the new battery, and with 60 kWh, the sedan’s WLTP range is expected to increase from 448 to 491 kilometres. It is still unclear exactly when deliveries of the 60 kWh Model 3 and the Model Y Standard Range are to start in Europe.
Both versions (as well as the first batch of Model Y Long Range and Performance, which will be delivered from August) will be imported from China, as the Gigafactory under construction in Grünheide has not yet been completed. Elon Musk has travelled to Germany again and “exchanged views on the tasks still ahead” with Brandenburg’s Minister of Economics Jörg Steinbach and Minister President Dietmar Woidke.
Only 44 objections to the construction of the Tesla factory in Grünheide have so far been received by the Brandenburg State Office for the Environment (LfU) following the renewed public display of the plans, although there is still time for more: the deadline for this is still 19 August. According to Brandenburg’s Environment Minister Axel Vogel, “experience shows” that some objections are still received in the last few days before the deadline. There were 373 objections during the first consultation in 2020, and 110 during the second consultation.
electrek.co, teslarati.com (both Model-Y variants), teslamag.de (batteries, in German), teslarati.com (Musk in Germany), sueddeutsche.de (Grünheide, in German)
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Tesla has been skimpy on variations of their cars in the U.S. but that is probably because of the lack of competition. They will inevitably have to expand their offerings and the Shanghai versions are a good example. They should have a long-range rear wheel drive models and a standard range Y before too long in the U.S.