THE LONG ROAD TO GET HERE
Musk first made fun of Model Y in a tweet of October 2015, which he almost
immediately canceled. Since then, the crossover SUV project has undergone a
series of changes in scope. While it was initially thought that Tesla would
build the Model Y on the same technological basis as Model 3, Musk said in
May 2017 that Tesla wanted instead to build the Model Y on a “completely
different” platform. At the time, the company was able to simplify the
production process and drastically reduce the length of the necessary
electrical cables if it abandoned the architecture of the 12-volt battery
used in other Tesla vehicles. He would also have the Falcon Wing doors of
the X model.
But all this was said at a time when Musk was still completely focused on
automating a large amount of the production process. This has changed. Musk
states that Tesla has relied too much on automation, one of the reasons he
used the company longer than expected to run Model 3 production at a steady
pace. Musk eventually made a breakthrough on the Y model, telling investors
in August 2017 that he would share a platform with Model 3 after all.
TO A CERTAIN POINT, THE MODEL Y DOES NOT SHARE ANYTHING WITH THE MODEL 3
“On the advice of my executive team, to recover from the pitfalls of
madness, the Model Y, in fact, will use the substantial carry-over from
Model 3 to bring it to the market faster,” said Musk in that phone call.
This has remained the plan since then, although Musk admitted this month
that Model Y will now not have the Falcon Wing doors of the X model.
Knowing that the car has been in development for so long, something to keep
an eye on during the event is whether Tesla has devised other ways to
distinguish Model Y from Model 3. Will the interior be exactly the same? Or
will Tesla mix things up by adding some other physical buttons, a head-up
display or something completely different? One thing is certain: expect a
large touchscreen to dominate the dashboard of the Y Model.