Tesla Model Y base price breaks $60,000, tops original price of Model S

The base price of the Tesla Model Y now tops $60,000, which is more than the original base price of the Model S from 2012.

A recent perusal of Tesla's website showed the base Model Y Long Range now starting at $60,190. This version has 318 miles of range, dual-motor all-wheel drive, and can do 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, per Tesla. The Model Y Performance—the only other trim level available—starts at $65,190. It's rated 303 miles of range, but can do 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.5 seconds.

2021 Tesla Model Y

2021 Tesla Model Y

With the absence of a Model Y Standard Range, that makes the base price of the Model Y $17,000 more than earlier this year, when the Standard Range variant was still available. Tesla just raised the base price of the Model Y by $2,000 in early October. This latest increase, done in the shadow of an expected EV tax credit revamp that would once again make some Tesla vehicles eligible, raises the price by another $4,000.

For reference, the original base price of the 2012 Model S was $57,400 (plus destination). By later in 2012, the 2013 model was bumped up to $59,900. Today's version of the Model S has far more standard range, standard all-wheel drive, more sophisticated tech, and a $96,190 base price.

Production simplification for Model Y vs. Model 3 - from Tesla Q1 2020 report

Production simplification for Model Y vs. Model 3 - from Tesla Q1 2020 report

Tesla is preparing to begin Model Y production at its new Texas factory. Cars built in Texas will have higher-density 4680 battery cells plus new body-structure production methods. The larger 4680 cells may also be what finally gets the long-delayed Tesla Semi into production. Tesla has said its modest ramp-up of those cells so far could allow for some deliveries before the end of the year.

Tesla has also indicated that Model 3 and Model Y vehicles with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells—a chemistry currently used only in China—are likely for the United States market as well. Perhaps that will bring the Model Y back into the realm of affordability for more families.

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