Tesla is preparing to offer a new Model Y for 2023 with a standard-range all-wheel drive configuration and 4680 batteries that just got approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In October, we reported that Tesla had applied for and obtained certificates of conformity for various Model 3, Model X, and Model S trim levels, but Model Y was never mentioned in the EPA database. It was surprising but not alarming, as Tesla still had several months to apply and receive approval to sell other vehicles that would enter the 2023 model year.
The EPA has now added Tesla’s Model Y Certificates of Conformity for 2023 models to its database, and instead of just receiving approval for the two configurations it already sells, Tesla received three Model Y Certificates of Conformity. The EPA approved the Model Y Long Range All-Wheel-Drive, Model Y Performance All-Wheel-Drive, and now a new version, listed as “Model Y All-Wheel-Drive.”
Interestingly, Tesla had previously built a Model Y with a standard-range all-wheel drive powertrain at Gigafactory Texas in April, but only offered it to employees. The vehicle had a 279-mile range and offered a more favorable AWD setup. However, it was selling for around $60,000, which was considerably high for the range it offered.
This was rumored to be the Model Y that Tesla had built with the highly anticipated 4680 cell for some time. As it was only available to employees, this only helped further catalyze speculation that the vehicle featured the automaker’s new cell chemistry.
The 4680 Model Y is elusive. Employees like Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain Drew Baglino drive one, and the company is building a 4680-equipped Model Y at Gigafactory Texas. However, the company primarily delivers 2170-equipped Model Ys to customers, as the 4680 program is far from fully developed.
Tesla applied for approval of all three Model Y configurations on September 30 and received the Certificates of Conformity on October 19, EPA documents show. The agency has not yet released the specific range classifications for this model.
This could indicate that Tesla is preparing to deliver more 4680 Model Ys to customers this year. The vehicle needed to be evaluated by the EPA before it could be delivered to customers. Since it features new chemistry with different range ratings and power outputs, it may have caused the all-electric crossover to get approval a bit later than the other three cars in Tesla’s lineup.
Tesla’s 4,680 cells could go into mass production by the end of the year. The company has already been working with vendors such as Panasonic to develop prototypes of the cell in preparation for full-scale production in 2023. Kazuo Tadanobu, president and CEO of Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., said Tesla’s 4,680 cells will go into mass production. online in Japan in May 2023.
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