Tesla ups the stakes with a 600 km Model Y

In selected European markets, including Belgium, Tesla is extending its Model Y offering. The new rear-wheel drive version can travel exactly 600 kilometers between charges. It bears the badge Long Range for a good reason.

As the American automaker comes to terms with a sales slowdown, it is counteracting the trend with a new version of the Model Y. The RWD Long Range, priced at 49,970 euros, slots between the base model RWD and the AWD Long Range.

Though this version isn’t eligible for the Flemish EV incentive of 5,000 euros, this model tries to convince by tackling the renowned phenomenon of range anxiety. Settling for a WLTP range of 600 kilometers, it tops all the other Model Y versions.

Tesla’s promotion applauds it as “commuting all week without charging.” One condition for the extra range is that the SUV must be equipped with 19-inch Gemini wheels (which are not WLTP homologated on the AWD Long Range but are available). On 20-inch Induction wheels, the range drops to 565 kilometers, reducing the officially measurable gap with the AWD version to 32 kilometers.

Lowest cost per kilometer

More interesting figures from the Long Range RWD are the considerable top speed of 217 kph and an exemplary average consumption of 14.9 kWh/100 km. Its energy efficiency is only marginally topped by the Hyundai Ioniq 6 (14.8 kWh/100 km) and by a greater margin by Tesla’s Model 3 (13.9 kWh/100 km with the 57.5 kWh battery pack). Tesla claims the Y Long Range RWD has the lowest cost per kilometer of any electric SUV on the market.

Technically, the Model Y RWD Long Range inherits the 2170 cylindrical cells from the higher-positioned AWD models (the base version uses cheaper LFP chemistry). The capacity is 75 kWh.

Tesla has uploaded the new trim already in its configurator, making the new version available in 19 European countries. It is also available in Belgium but not in The Netherlands, France, or the UK. As the second-cheapest trim in the range, its mission is to sustain or amplify its status as the best-sold vehicle (and EV) worldwide. In the Belgian market, Tesla’s choice of range over all-wheel drive makes all the more sense.

Responding quickly

With sales slumping—the company saw inventory grow over a 9% decline in sales since the beginning of the year—Tesla seems to be responding quickly to the cooling of the market. Though EV deliveries are growing in absolute numbers, their share is decreasing due to rising inflation and private customer hesitance.

Tesla hasn’t seen sales slide since the pandemic but is accompanied by competitor automakers like Mercedes (-8%), Volkswagen (-3%) and Porsche (-54%). Only a handful of brands, like BMW (+20%) and BYD (+13%), managed to maintain growth in BEV sales compared to the same period the year before.


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