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Image: screenshot of Tesla email to potential Model Y buyers in Poland, courtesy of Tomek Gać.


Why Does The Tesla Model Y European Release Excite So Many People?

Tesla is bringing its Model Y to Europe later this summer, with deliveries coming from its Shanghai gigafactory.

Imagine it cruising along the Autobahn, soothed by Alpine steppes, or framed by the rising Alps. Reminiscent of the Model X but without the price tag, its ample frunk storage, small towing capacity, and spacious interior make it really appealing. And now the Tesla Model Y is coming to Europe!

Tesla has updated the European calculator for the Tesla Model Y, which now indicates viable prices and anticipated delivery times in multiple countries. Tesla Model Y deliveries for Europe are expected to start in the third quarter, as Tesla has already sent out emails to reservation holders. Those European customers who previously placed an order to receive a car in 2021 will be asked to submit a refresh to stay in the queue for the current made-in-China Model Y.

The Model Y SUV offers a 5–7 seat interior, an estimated range of 316 miles on a full charge, and an acceleration of 3.5 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. Up until this year, the model was available primarily to US consumers, but 2021 entry into the Chinese and European markets has expanded the Model Y’s availability and excited its patient fans outside the States.

The company offers two versions of the Model Y: the Long Range AWD and the Performance.

Prices vary by country, but the Model Y has a listed price of €56,990 ($67,592) for the Long Range variant in Germany, while the Performance version starts at €63,990 ($75,884). There are slight differences between the Model Y vehicles sold in the US and Europe, with the latter hefting slightly higher price tags (before incentives) due to import duties and such.

Tesla’s Value, As Seen in Model Y Enthusiasm

By April 30, 2021, the price of Tesla rose more than 10 times and resulted in over $600 billion in investor wealth. That jump was caused by much more than a confluence of new information about the macroeconomy, the auto industry, or company-specific information related to Tesla as an electric vehicle manufacturer. The only narrative that explains Tesla’s soaring stock value is a type of mythology that envelops the company. Tesla, it can be argued, is much more than an all-electric car company — it’s on the forefront of renewable energy, artificial intelligence, ridesharing, and robotics.

Part of the feedback loop of this narrative is seen around the introduction of the Model Y in Europe. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has indicated that this is one of several focus areas for the company, focusing on ramping up Model Y production, getting Giga Berlin to production, expanding Giga Shanghai, and bringing the Tesla Semi and Cybertruck to production in the US.

Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory

The Shanghai gigafactory made good on its promise to start delivering the Model Y in 2021.

Moreover, in recent months, Giga Shanghai has been working hard to ramp up production of the Model Y. The first cars made for export there were destined for South Korea. An order configurator was also recently launched in Hong Kong, which means that Tesla’s Chinese factory has begun production of right-hand drive vehicles. The efficacious results of the Giga Shanghai process points to another new beginning, with Tesla now able to start delivering the Model Y to Europe, including the UK —  where the Tesla Model 3 became the top-selling car (of any powertrain or class) in June.

Wholesale shipments of China-made Teslas decreased 0.9% last month to 33,155 from 33,463 in May, according to data from China’s Passenger Car Association. Interestingly, May’s figure was a surge of almost 30% from April.

According to a Shanghai government filing, the factory in Shanghai is expected to produce 150,000 Model 3 sedans and later hike output, by including the Model Y, to 250,000 vehicles a year once fully completed. On the other hand, Tesla has indicated that the Berlin factory is projected to have a production capacity of 500,000 annually once fully completed.

For now, since Tesla Giga Berlin has been delayed (originally there had been hopes that it would be operational by summer of 2021), the first Model Y for Europe will emerge from China, where production started over half a year ago.

The Model Y & Tesla Giga Berlin

Tesla mentioned in its 2018 annual report that the Model Y would likely be manufactured in the Nevada gigafactory, with eyes also set to eventual production abroad. Enter Tesla Giga Berlin.

The new Tesla European gigafactory is a manufacturing plant constructed in Grünheide, near Berlin, Germany, 20 miles southeast of central Berlin, on the main railway line to Wrocław, Poland, where Europe’s largest EV battery factory is currently situated (and CleanTechnica‘s CEO has a home). Tesla Giga Berlin is not yet automation-ready, and Tesla Model Y production start dates are still uncertain.

The company’s 4th gigafactory will manufacture batteries, powertrains, and vehicles, starting with Model Y. It will be the third Tesla factory to fully manufacture vehicles (behind Tesla’s Fremont factory and Giga Shanghai).

A July 2020 research study out of the Copenhagen Business School forecast the following Model Y deliveries from the Berlin factory:

  • (2022) 350,000,
  • (2023) 367,500,
  • (2024) 385,875,
  • (2025) 405,169, and
  • (2026) 425,427.

Now that the European price configuration is running, lots of interested individuals are trying to predict how long it will take for the European-produced Model Ys to hit the streets. Delivery time for the German-made Model Y has been updated to early 2022.

The Tesla Allure

Tesla is a vertically integrated company and operates within the two market segments of automotive and energy generation & storage. It is a well-established player in the electric vehicle segment and is ahead of its competitors when it comes to the battery range as well as battery costs per kWh, autonomous driving, and overall product performance.

Tesla operates in two different markets in those segments: the luxury market and the mass-appeal vehicle sector. In the luxury market, Tesla has a competitive advantage with its high-quality products in all 3 important areas of performance, technology, and customer attractiveness. The Model 3 is a smaller and more affordable version of Model S, while the Model Y was designed to be similar to Model X in styling but similar to Model 3 in terms of components. The Model 3 (2017) and Model Y (2020, 2021 in Europe) allowed Tesla to realize its last step of its initial master plan to produce a relatively low-price/high-volume electric vehicle.

Tesla is approaching a production rate of a million units a year for the two models combined. (Note: In 2019, Tesla began combining sales figures for the Model 3 and Model Y).

Both Model 3 and Model Y have the option to include “full self-driving” capability (eventually) for $10,000. If the company can get this software to the point that it can operate self-driving robotaxis, it could usher in a whole new era of affordable electric transport.

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Written By

Carolyn Fortuna (they, them), Ph.D., is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla. Please follow Carolyn on Twitter and Facebook.


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