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Tesla quietly begins selling the cheaper Model Y with a range of 279 miles


Tesla's new entry-level Model Y is not currently in its component location.

However, the electric SUV is available at Gigaseveral Tesla stores.

With up to 279 miles of EPA-rated range, this Model Y convertible costs $2,000 less than the long-range Model Y.

Tesla is pulling a page from the In-N-Out Burger playbook and giving Model Y buyers the chance to order a cheaper version of its proverbial secret menu. Although the automaker's website currently limits Model Y orders to those of $54,380 for the Long Range or $58,380 Performance variants, Tesla's online inventory listing shows that a number of its stores stock a salable base Model Y. Y EVs sporting a $2,000 starting price lower than that for the long-range model. (As of this writing, most of these entry-level Ys in stock appear to include no less than $2,000 worth of optional 20-inch wheels and tires, effectively negating the base model's cost savings over its long-range counterpart.)

Tesla giga texas factory with y models on assemble y line

Suzanne Cordero | Getty images

Unlike the previous entry-level, rear-wheel drive Model Y, which Tesla discontinued in 2021, this new base-level model Y comes standard with a dual-motor all-wheel drive system. It also packs a wider range EPA rating relative to its single-engine predecessor.

With up to 279 miles of driving range on a full charge, the cheapest Model Y is better than the old standard range model by 35 miles. However, it falls short of the Model Y Long Range and Performance numbers by as much as 51 and 24 miles, respectively.

Musk Elon Tesla Gigabyte with white Model Y and Black Roadster

Susan Cordero | GETTY IMAGES

Tesla's 4680 battery pack powers the electric motors of this latest addition to the Model Y line, which the company produces at its Texas plant. Although Tesla is mum about the package's rated capacity and other details, given the lower range of the Model Y equipped with this package, it's safe to assume that the usable capacity of these batteries falls short of the 75.0-kWh package that powers the 2020 Model Y. Long range we've tested previously, which is EPA-rated to travel up to 316 miles on a full charge. We only managed a range of 220 miles while testing the Model Y in our 75-mph highway test.

Whether the range deficit of the base 2023 model relative to its long-range relatives is worth a $2,000 price cut is a matter of personal preference. The extra piles in the pocket of primary Model Y buyers, however, could go toward additional options for their new electric vehicles, a lower monthly payment, or paying off that gambling debt.

See, we are not here to judge. We're here just to let you know that Tesla is introducing its own version of the Animal Style burger for the Model Y.

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