Bringing sexy back: Elon Musk unveils Tesla’s 2nd electric SUV Model Y

Tesla CEO Elon Musk views the new Tesla Model Y at its unveiling in Hawthorne, California © AFP / Frederic J. Brown / Free

Tesla’s mid-size electric SUV, the Model Y, was presented Thursday night in Hawthorne, California. The mass-market car will have a base price of $39,000 and a 230-mile battery range.

According to the company’s CEO and founder, Elon Musk, the new SUV will have 66 cubic feet of cargo space, comparable to a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It will have the functionality of an SUV, but will ride like a sports car, Musk said.

Customers will have to wait until at least 2021 to own one of the five-seat SUVs.

The company will first sell more expensive versions of the SUV, with prices starting from $47,000 to $60,000, and offering more battery range. The car will have some additional charges for autopilot software, a third row of seats, different colors, and a panoramic glass roof.

“I think we will sell more Model Y’s than S, X and 3 combined,” said Musk during the presentation speech. “We are bringing sexy back, quite literally.”

It took nearly three years after Tesla’s unveiling of the Model 3 before it sold for its promised price point of $35,000.

“2018 felt like aging five years in one,” Musk said. “Honestly it was really intense.”

Tesla is currently going through hard times, with Musk charged by the SEC with contempt for tweeting “inaccurate and material” information about the company. Some key executives have left the company recently. Investigations are underway over the recent death of a Model 3 owner in Florida who was using Tesla’s Autopilot.

However, Musk spoke optimistically of Tesla’s autonomous driving software which will also be available on the Model Y.

“It will be able to do basically anything by the end of this year, just with software upgrades,” Musk said.

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