Tonight, we have potentially the first real indication that the Model Y release in Australia is imminent. VedaPrime on Twitter has posted an announcement that the first Tesla Model Y has been detected on Australian shores.
For those not familiar with Veda’s work, he’s known for tracking Tesla shipments to Australia and even offers a service for new Tesla customers to track the ships they’re being delivered on, detailing their expected arrival date.
Over a number of years now, Veda has been proven accurate with his information, so I’d place this in the very likely camp. He goes on to mention that a release candidate model has arrived, typically intended for Australian certification, crash testing, or to educate staff on the new model.
In the lead up to the Model 3 launch, we found the terrible Road Vehicle Certification System website by infrastructure.gov.au, which had listed the Model 3 as certified in Australia. This information can reveal details of which models are to be offered here, however, there can also be variances in between what gets approved for use (like a towbar) and what actually arrives in the design studio (there is still no towbar option).
After searching for any reference to the Model Y on the RVCS website, I can confirm that currently it is not listed, just the Model S, Model X and Model 3.
The Model Y in Australia is set to do very well, off the back of strong Model 3 sales, the SUV market that the Model Y would play in is one of the largest vehicle segments in the country.
According to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), in the full calendar year 2020 a total of 916,968 vehicles were sold in Australia. SUVs accounted for 49.6% of the market during 2020, an increase from 45.5% market share in 2019. A total of 454,701 SUVs were sold during the year, so you can understand Tesla would be keen to offer a compelling vehicle in the SUV space.
In recent weeks we’ve seen Tesla introduce the Right-hand drive version of the Model Y, like in Hong Kong.
We have seen Tesla offer different lineups of the Model Y internationally, but VedaPrime suggests we could be seeing the SR+, LR and Performance variants in Australia.
The Model Y page on the Australian Tesla site currently lists the Long Range and Performance specs as follows:
- The Long Range offers up to 505km of range, an acceleration time of 5.0 seconds from 0-100km/hr and a top speed of 217km/hr. It has a massive 2,158L of cargo space and seating up to 5 (no 7 seat option).
- The Performance model drops the 0-100km/hr acceleration down to just 3.7s, and the range is still a healthy 480km, despite the larger 21″ wheels.
The Model Y can add an extra 270 kilometers of range in just 15 minutes when visiting a Tesla Supercharger.
The Premium Interior is available with both their top specs of the Model Y, includes Power adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats, 2nd row seats that fold flat, Premium audio made up of 14 speakers, 1 subwoofer, 2 amps, and immersive sound.
There are also LED fog lamps, a tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection, power-folding, heated side mirrors, Music and media over Bluetooth, Custom driver profiles, HEPA air filtration system, center console with storage, 4 USB ports and docking for 2 smartphones.
One of the main drawcards of the Tesla Model Y will be the minimalist interior and great software experience both on the in-car display and mobile application. When you’re driving, there’s Autopilot included, which offers lane centering and adaptive cruise control.
For those interested in autonomy, there is also Tesla’s Full Self Driving package which costs A$10,100 currently. Tesla are iterating their way to automate an increasing amount of the driving experience. Navigate on Autopilot will not only take you freeway entrance to exit, but also overtake slower cars automatically, removing one of the biggest frustrations of highway driving. They are currently working on navigating city streets and while you still need to have your hands on the wheel and pay attention, the goal is that Tesla will offer Full Self Driving through subsequent over the air updates.
Tesla recently began offering their FSD package as a subscription in the US for US$199 per month, a little more approachable than the full purchase price, however, the price is subject to change as features improve.
Of course, the big sell on a Model Y over a Model 3 is really the higher seating position and additional storage. For that, you can expect the Model Y to cost $5-10k more than the sedan. The Australian Model Y will be built and shipped from GigaShanghai.
Let us know in the comments if you’re excited about the Model Y.