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Tesla Launches Model Y RWD Variant with 320 Mile Single Charge Range

Tesla Launches Model Y RWD Variant with 320 Mile Single Charge Range

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EV giant Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has launched a new long-range rear-wheel drive (RWD) version of its best-selling Model Y SUV in the U.S. The new Long Range RWD version has an estimated range of 320 miles, a top speed of 135 mph, and can go from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. It starts at $44,990, the same starting price as the rear-wheel drive version of the vehicle it has replaced on the website. The replaced RWD variant had a range of just 260 miles.

Tesla Model Y Long Range RWD overview
Credit: Tesla


Tesla's pricing has been fluctuating as usual lately. Just two weeks ago, the Model Y received a $2,000 discount, making it the lowest-priced it has ever been, at least when considering tax incentives. But now Tesla has axed that model, the Standard Range Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) Model Y, and replaced it with a longer-range model priced over $2,000 more.

Tesla updated its website to feature the new Long Range RWD Model Y, starting at $44,990. However, like its predecessor, it qualifies for the US electric vehicle tax credit, so if you're eligible, you can purchase it for $37,500.

The LR RWD model started shipping in Europe early last month, so its arrival in the US isn't surprising.

The new model is largely the same as the old one but with a larger battery. The LR RWD has a range of 320 miles instead of the SR RWD's 260 miles. That's quite a leap for just an extra $2,000, although the lower base price might be preferable for those who don't need that range.

In other words, before April 19, the price of the Model Y SR RWD was the same as today's LR RWD. Tesla did offer some temporary discounts in the first quarter of this year, but essentially, you're now paying roughly the same price for a longer-range car as you would have paid at certain times in the past few years. Not too shabby.

In addition to these changes, Tesla has added a new Quicksilver paint option for $2,000, but it's only available for the Long Range All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and Performance models.

This color is a light gray/silver but with a lot of depth. It has been available in Europe since 2022 and is generally considered a very attractive color (if you're into that sort of thing). This is its first appearance in the US—although some inventory cars have had this color for about a week now.

Tesla also states that owners of the 260-mile battery are actually getting a car with additional hidden battery capacity. Tesla has done this before under the guise of manufacturing simplicity—producing a single battery pack but software-locking some of the battery packs to lower ranges.


This appears to be the most cost-effective Model Y variant available. However, surprisingly, Musk mentioned that the "Standard Range" rear-wheel drive Model Y produced in the past few months could gain an additional 40 to 60 miles of range through a software upgrade, costing between $1,500 to $2,000.


However, this approach has also sparked some controversy. Some consumers have raised questions: why aren't these vehicles releasing their full range potential at the time of initial purchase, instead of requiring owners to pay extra fees to unlock it several months later? Is this practice reasonable?

From a technical standpoint, Tesla may have several reasons for not fully unleashing the battery's potential at the time of initial vehicle sale. On one hand, the Battery Management System (BMS) requires time to learn and adapt to the owner's driving habits to optimize battery efficiency and lifespan. On the other hand, Tesla may also be waiting for further maturation of battery technology to ensure that unlocking additional range doesn't compromise battery safety and reliability.

Undoubtedly, from the consumer's perspective, this late unlocking approach may cause some dissatisfaction. Some owners might feel that if the vehicle inherently has a longer range, that potential should be unlocked at the time of purchase rather than being sold as an additional service. This practice might give a sense of "hidden costs," impacting the consumer's purchasing experience.


According to data from JATO Dynamics, the Model Y was the best-selling car globally last year, and Tesla has been keen to emphasize this detail in their recent advertisements.

In the United States, the Model Y accounted for over one-third of electric vehicle sales last year, a trend that has continued into the first quarter of this year.

Many people have also been eagerly awaiting the redesigned Model Y, codenamed "Juniper," which is expected to feature a redesign similar to the upgraded Model 3. Tesla introduced the Model 3 in many markets last year and launched the Model 3 in the United States this year.

Despite the anticipation surrounding the upcoming redesign, Tesla has announced that they will not be launching the redesigned Model Y in North America this year.


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