You can’t yet configure your own Model Y with 4680 cells on Tesla’s website, but the US electric automaker has added a number of copies with all-wheel drive to its online inventory.
Tesla announced its proprietary 4680 battery cells a few years ago at Battery Day. CEO Elon Musk noted shortly before the festivities that the cells wouldn’t appear in vehicles for some time. That said, Tesla has been producing the cells on a pilot line and working to perfect the new manufacturing techniques so that it can start using them in its cars.
When the first Tesla Model Y crossovers were delivered out of Tesla’s newest factory, Giga Texas, many assumed that all Model Y’s coming from the factory would be fitted with the new structural battery pack and 4680 cells. It didn’t take long to learn that wasn’t going to be the case.
Tesla did offer a version of the Model Y with 4680 cells, though it was only locally available for a very limited time. Now, a new all-wheel-drive version has shown up in Tesla’s online inventory. According to Teslarati, it appears the new Model Y was first discovered and reported on social media by The Kilowatts.
Tesla promised that the 4680 cells would mean more power and increase range and longevity. The company also shared that using the cells and structural battery packs would streamline the manufacturing process and lead to lower prices.
While the new Model Y AWD with 4680 cells is $2,000 less expensive than the current “base” model – the Model Y Long Range AWD with 2170 cells – the former also has significantly less range. Whereas the Long Range version with 2170 cells has an EPA-estimated driving range of 330 miles, the new 4680-cell Model Y has just 269 miles of range.
According to earlier reports that surfaced based on details from the EPA’s Certificates of Conformity, Tesla will likely release both Long Range and Performance versions of the Model Y equipped with 4680 cells.
While there are very few 4680-cell Model Y crossovers in the wild, Tesla’s Senior VP of Powertrain Drew Baglino has already put about 10,000 miles on his personal copy.
We’ll have to wait and see if and when Tesla makes Model Y SUVs with 4680 cells available in its online configurator. It will also be interesting to see the range and pricing of the Long Range and Performance versions. They should have more range and cost less, but based on the price and range of this newest example, it’s difficult to know what to expect.
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