We believe that Tesla will unveil a Long Range Plus configuration of Model Y within the next two years.
Just as the automaker had done with Model S and Model X, we believe that over time Tesla will phase-out the current Long Range configuration of Model Y. It would be replaced with a Long Range Plus configuration, which we speculate to attain over 400 miles of range at a minimum.
Tesla is committed to improving the efficiency of its vehicles as well as the density of its battery packs, with an upcoming “Battery Day” that will outline the automaker’s plans for the future. This will enable more range across its entire vehicle lineup, as well as the potential for more affordable Tesla models and configurations.
Musk has stated that Tesla plans to keep Model Y “excellent” by ensuring the range meets Tesla’s updated criteria. Unlike Model 3, Tesla has decided that a Standard Range configuration for Model Y wouldn’t be acceptable as it would feature under 250 miles of EPA-rated range. This makes the case even more likely for a Long Range Plus model, as Tesla is ultimately focusing on range with Model Y to improve the overall customer experience.
Tesla could improve efficiency over time with software updates, and also make minor changes to Model Y (similar to the RAVEN upgrades on Model S/X) that would incentivize the automaker to update the EPA range rating.
While Tesla is also focused on affordability, the company is shifting its strategy to provide as much range as possible to offer a competitive value. A Long Range Plus model will also keep Tesla ahead of the competition for the foreseeable future.
The difference with Model 3 is that Tesla was focused on ramping up production to reach volume targets, as well as prioritizing meeting the cost-cutting goals necessary to release an affordable $35,000 model. Now that Tesla has streamlined its production process, it can focus on making more significant improvements to its vehicles.
Considering that Model Y had launched in March, it seems that it may be premature to speculate about Tesla adding or replacing configurations. However, we expect innovation and advancement in battery technology to accelerate the development of improvements for Model Y.
This shouldn’t sway prospective buyers away from purchasing a Long Range configuration of Model Y today. Regardless, we anticipate Tesla will be able to make changes to Model Y more rapidly than it has to its other vehicles.