Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
A new Tesla model is joining the company’s lineup of electric cars, but it won’t come very soon as it’s being built on a completely new platform.
The news comes from Elon Musk, who shared some new details about the Model Y at the conference call following Tesla’s Q1 financial results.
Answering a question from one of the reporters on the call, Musk said the new car will come in 2020 or 2019. It will be built on a completely new platform, which is why production will take a little longer than anticipated (originally, the Model Y was supposed to be based on Model 3, which is slated for a July launch).
Part of the reason for this is automation. Musk said that the production of the Model 3 is already several times more automated than the production of Model S, while the Model Y production line will be "nothing close to anything." And on the new platform, Tesla would be able to move away from the 12-volt electrical system used in current Tesla cars (and most other cars). As Musk puts it, 12 volts is "wrong for everything."
Musk believes that the launch of Model Y will help Tesla reach the goal of producing a million cars per year by 2020.
Another thing it’ll definitely do is make Tesla’s car lineup a lot sexier, with models S, 3, X, Y on offer.
Musk also shared some thoughts about possible new Tesla vehicles in other market segments. "All transport will go fully electric with the ironic exception of rockets," he said, confirming that the a Tesla truck would be unveiled later this year (he previously said the unveiling would happen in September 2017).
He could not, however, confirm the company would build an electric mini-bus — something he had previously hinted at as well. “I don’t know if the bus thing is actually gonna be something that makes sense in the shared, fully autonomous environment,” he said, pointing that the traffic issues in urban areas could better be solved with tunnels.
And on the subject of Model 3, which is slated for a July launch, Musk said everything’s "coming in as expected." The launch is a huge test for Tesla, as it requires the company to significantly ramp up production, both in the car factory and its battery-making Gigafactory.