Tesla now building RHD Model Y, goes on sale in Hong Kong, Australia next?

    Tesla has a smash hit with the Model 3, but the Model Y is very likely to outsell it this year. The reality is, there’s simply far more people that buy cars in the SUV segment, than sedans.

    The Model Y was unveiled back in March 2019, with US production starting in January 2020. Customer deliveries of the the Model Y started in the US on March 13th, 2020. Since then, many countries around the world have wondered when they’ll be able to buy a Model Y. The company has been very quiet on plans for a Right-Hand Drive version of the car, until now.

    The order page on Tesla’s Hong Kong website now features the ‘Order Now’ button for the Model Y, making it the first country in the world to offer a RHD version. The reason this is important, is that it sets the roadmap for Australia, also a RHD country, to get the Model Y.

    Regarding which options will be offered, we know from the Model 3 launch, that its definitely a country-by-country decision, with the Long Range, or white interior, initially not offered in Australia. Since then, both versions were added to the lineup locally.

    In Hong Kong, the Rear-Wheel Drive Standard Range, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive Long Range and Performance options are available to order.

    In terms of range, the Model Y is obviously a larger car, offering more space for occupants and cargo, which comes with slightly higher weight and slighty reduced aero performance than the Model 3. This means the range does take a mild hit, but still industry leading in the EV SUV space.

    The Model Y Long Range offers 542km of range (WLTP), while the Performance gets 528km and the cheapest, Standard Range offers 455km per charge.

    The fastest version, the Model Y Performance, is still capable of launching from 0-100km/h in just 3.7s, just 0.4s slower than the Model 3 Performance.

    Right now, there’s only a 5 seater option offered, so those larger families requiring 7 seats will have to look elsewhere.

    When it comes to other options, there’s the full 5 paint options available – White (default), black, grey, blue and red. The SR comes with 19″ Gemini Wheels are included, with the 20″ Induction wheels available as an option on the lower spec, while the LR offers 20″ Induction wheels and the Performance spec offers the most aggressive 21″ Uberturbine Wheels.

    The interior choices include both black and white options and obviously comes with the updated 2021 interior, where the dash elements wraps around to the front driver and passenger doors.

    When it comes to FSD Capability, the Hong Kong situation is very different than what we have here in Australia, with Autopark, Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control and Automatic driving on city streets, all listed as ‘Coming later this year’.

    With this move to introduce the RHD version of the Model Y in Hong Kong, it certainly is a positive indicator that the Model Y is coming. My prediction was that Model Y would be introduced in Q3 of 2021 for Australians to order, with deliveries expected in Q4 or potentially Q1 2022.

    Australia is just one of 75 RHD countries (161 use LHD), however New Zealand, the UK are among other large vehicle markets also still waiting on Tesla to ship the Model Y there.

    When it comes to the expected price of the Model Y in Australia, I’m expecting it to land around $5-10k more than the equivalent Model 3, but we’ll only know for sure once the order page goes live. So far, our AU page of the Tesla website, continues to offer the ‘Stay Updated’ button.

    Given Australian Model 3s are now shipping from the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai, it would also make sense that we receive a Made-in-China (MIC) Model Y coming to Australia soon. Musk has said in the past, it makes sense to have vehicle production as close to the delivery location as possible, which obvious reduces shipping and handling costs for Tesla and the customer.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


    1. “makes sense to have vehicle production as close to the delivery location as possible, which obvious reduces shipping and handling costs for Tesla and the customer” This is a furphy. It’s all about cheaper production costs

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