Tesla Model Y: What We Know

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The Tesla Model Y was revealed on Thursday night, marking the company's next step toward becoming a full-line automaker with its first entry in the popular small utility vehicle segment.

Here's where to watch Tesla's live announcement: the live stream will be available on Tesla's website, either directly on the main page, or through the Events & Presentations section on the Investor Relations page.

The company broke ground on the Shanghai factory in January and its CEO Elon Musk has said the firm aims to finish initial construction this summer and start production of the Model 3 towards the end of the year. Production of the vehicle is also expected to begin at the expansive Nevada facility, which should allow Tesla to optimize the SUV's manufacturing processes further, since battery pack assembly and vehicle assembly happen on the same site. The Model Y will also be pricier than the Model 3 by 10 percent, giving it a sticker price of about $40,000.

One question has been, would Tesla introduce a base version Model Y to match its recently released $US35,000 Model 3 ($A49,800 at today's rates) from the get go, rather than starting the premium Long Range and Performance versions as has been its modus operandi for the Model 3.

Last but not least will be the Tesla Model Y Performance. The heavier Model Y, however, will have less range because of its increased weight and size.

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All that aside, the specs on the Model Y are solid.

A side look at the Model Y.

Tesla's targeted volume production date of late 2020 for the Model Y would put it behind electric SUV offerings from Volkswagen AG's Audi, Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Tesla plans to build the Model Y for the USA market at its Gigafactory in Nevada. Even with the reduced range, Tesla is predicting demand to be perhaps 50 percent higher for the Model Y than the Model 3 owing to the former's crossover body style.

Teased image of Model Y from Tesla Photo: Tesla Inc. This should make production more efficient for Tesla and help keep costs down. In January, he said Tesla had ordered the tooling needed to build the vehicle.

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