Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the company will begin delivering its new Model Y small sport-utility vehicle in March and that the company is on the cusp of delivering a car with a 400-mile range.
Musk’s news about the earlier-than-expected delivery dates for the Model Y – it wasn’t supposed to begin production until the end of this year – wasn’t a shocker for devoted followers of the EV maker. However, his good news about the new ute wasn’t limited to early deliveries.
Not only will the “Y” get here sooner, it’ll also drive further after its arrival. Initially, the company suggested the range would be in the 250- to 270-mile range. However, after testing it’s EPA rated at 315 miles on a full charge.
“The new mileage is reflected on the configurator now,” Musk said during the company’s investor/analyst call. “It beats the earlier projection by quite a wide margin.”
That’s good especially good news for the automaker because many of its competitors, such as the Mustang Mach E, are boasting predictions in the middle to upper 300-mile range. The announcement also led him to reveal that the company is treading on a new breakthrough.
Asked about battery technology, Musk revealed that the newest Model S and X long-range vehicles are getting better range than shown on the website, 373 miles and 328 miles respectively. He said that they were actually getting about 380 miles on the Model S and were “rapidly approaching a 400-mile range for the Model S.”
Musk touched on another fan favorite, the Cybertruck, suggesting the uniquely styled pickup is underrated, despite having more than 200,000 pre-orders for it.
“We’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “I think we’ll sell as many as we can make for many years. The product is better than people realize even. They don’t have enough information.” He didn’t elaborate on what people don’t know.
However, he said that despite demand calling for more than the company could produce in “three or four years,” the company is dealing with a delicate balance that is now taking on much of its attention: battery production.
“The thing we’re really going to be focused on is increasing battery production capacity,” Musk said, adding later, “It’s part of the reason we haven’t accelerated production of the semi because it requires a lot of cells.”
He said that until production is increased, producing the Cybertruck and the Semi truck in large numbers isn’t viable because it takes away from Model 3 and Model Y production. “We’ve got to make sure we’ve got a very steep ramp for battery production,” he said.
Despite throwing a wet blanket on building the Semi in large numbers, he did allow that production on the truck is expected to start in the fourth quarter this year.