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Image credit: Steve Hanley for CleanTechnica. All rights reserved.

Cars

Lower Priced Tesla Model Y With 4680 Battery Pack Coming Soon

Tesla employees can now purchase a standard range Model Y.

Earlier this year, a Tesla model showed up on the EPA website that no one had ever heard of — a Tesla Model Y Standard Range with 279 miles of range. No such car exists on the Tesla website. In fact, the last we heard, Elon Musk had put the kibosh on a less expensive standard range version because it could not qualify for an EPA rating of more than 250 miles, a key metric in his opinion.

But sharp-eyed observers at last week’s Cyber Rodeo at the new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, noticed such a car during the presentation. Apparently the car is the first to be fitted with Tesla’s new 4680 battery cells that are twice the size of battery cells currently used in the Model Y Long Range but store 5 times as much energy. They are packaged in a new structural battery pack that helps keep manufacturing costs down, which leads to lower prices for consumers.

The new standard range car is being sold to Tesla employees, but not the general public — at least not yet. Tesla podcast host Ryan McCaffrey, in a comment on Reddit, said he has seen the email the company sent to employees notifying them that they could purchase the Model Y SR. According to the Ride the Lightning podcast, the Model Y Standard Range AWD will be priced at $59,990, about $3,000 less than the Dual Motor Long Range Model Y. 0–60 mph for the new model is said to happen in 5 seconds — 0.2 seconds longer than it takes in the Long Range car. Top speed is 135 mph.

This Model Y SR seen in Austin last week included a few features not seen on any previous trim level, such as a magnetic center armrest and a parcel shelf. Tesla reportedly delivered a handful of them to workers in Austin last week. Tesla does offer a single-motor Standard Range Model Y to customers in China, but this is the first time an SR version has been offered in other markets. It may be an indication that less expensive cars are coming from Tesla as 4680 batteries find their way into more cars.

Updates: Tesla’s Giga Texas Will Make Tesla Model Y Standard Range AWD

 
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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

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