Tesla Model Y sales are soaring. The pace of the Model Y’s growth is remarkable and a testimonial to consumer endorsement for the all-electric crossover. Its full complement of features, especially the sophisticated, owner-focused over-the-air software upgrades, are real winners.
There are many interesting themes to the high Tesla Model Y sales. It is being sold essentially without an advertising campaign. Its 63.9″ height is about 7″ higher than that of a Model 3. It has the SUV allure of the Model X without the accompanying hefty price tag. Having access to the network of Tesla Superchargers that enable fast charging is a real plus over other EV models. The excellent infotainment system also contains most driver settings. Reservations continue at a time when Tesla is no longer eligible for federal EV tax credits (while other electric models do provide access to these incentives) — all of which reinforces the degree to which the Model Y’s success is strictly based on its value and caliber.
Tesla Model Y Sales
Legacy automakers who have come late to the EV game must now also contend with vigorous Tesla Model Y sales — at a time when most of their own EV models are only in pilot stages of production.
The Tesla Model Y — the smaller of the two Tesla SUVs — has a lot to offer:
- Two independent electric motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels, which offer, according to Tesla, excellent handling, traction, and stability control.
- The Long Range — the de facto base model — has an estimated driving range of 330 miles when equipped with the standard 19-inch wheels.
- The compact EV zips from zero-to-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.
- A large infotainment display centered on a simple dashboard presents minimalistic, ultra modern tech and styling.
- An all-glass roof adds to the spacious cabin ambience and has heavy tinting.
- Tesla’s advanced Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system is a standard feature on the Model Y. Its key safety features include standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode .
Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicted during the Q1 2021 call that the Model Y would “quite likely” be the world’s best-selling car in the future. Since then, the Model Y has experienced tremendous consumer demand, recreating Musk’s vision into a practical reality.
The Run-Up to the Tesla Model Y Release
It really wasn’t that long ago that conversations about the Tesla Model Y were little more than speculation. It’s fun now that a good number of us have received our Model Ys to look back wearing a small smile as we remember our anticipation and wonder.
2015 — Sneak Preview? With little background knowledge in 2015 other than that Tesla had trademarked the name Model Y so that its product lineup would eventually read “SEXY,” we were hungry for details. Did a screenshot of an Australian 60 Minutes segment on Tesla actually show a Model Y? Ooohh. Would it have falcon-wing doors, like the Model X? Initially, Elon Musk indicated that it would. (He tweeted that either the Model 3 or Model Y would, and then deleted his tweet the next day or so.)
2017 — Relying on Tesla’s history of successful business moves: Still with little concrete info on which to rely, a media narrative about the potential of Tesla Model Y sales focused on how so many naysayers had dismissed Tesla’s previous production moves — and been proven wrong. Thus, and by inference, the Tesla Model Y would be a roaring hit upon its release.
2018 — Rumors circulate about impending production: Anonymous but really, really informed sources were whispering that Tesla Model Y production was tentatively scheduled to begin in November of 2019, with manufacturing in China starting up two years after that. Speculation included rumors that the company would eventually build a million Model Y vehicles a year. Could the “irrepressibly upbeat Mr. Musk” pull it off?
2019 — Production targeted for Gigafactory 1: Tesla confirmed that the Model Y would be the first vehicle it would build at its Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada. Moreover, Musk revealed that the Model Y would begin life on the Model 3 platform, with the two sharing 76% of the same parts. This “shared DNA” between the Model 3 and Model Y would allowsla to leverage even greater Tesla in its supply chain and demand even lower prices from its suppliers, in addition to improving its downstream efficiencies with the supply of parts to its service centers and approved body shops.
2020 — First Model Ys delivered! Several semi trailers were seen leaving the Tesla Fremont car factory loaded with Tesla Model Y cars for the end-of-2020 delivery rush. Adding Model Y sales figures to Q1 2020’s financial results was seen as a good transition to the next year’s increased overall sales.
2021 Milestones in Tesla Model Y Sales
California dreamin’ — The Tesla Model Y ended 2021 as the top selling SUV or truck in California. That is across all types of SUVs and trucks, claiming a 44% share of the segment for the year and beating Toyota’s RAV4 and Honda’s CR-V sales. California is Tesla’s largest market in the US, with almost 13% of all its 936,000 sales worldwide in 2021.
China: Tesla increased sales of Made-in-China (MIC) electric cars in China in January, despite the month being focused on exports. According to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA)’s data, Tesla sold 19,346 MIC cars (up 25% year-over-year) in China and exported 40,499 in January 2022. The result is the best among all-electric crossovers/SUVs and second only to the BYD Song (20,722). According to CnEVPost, the top-selling crossover/SUV in China — Great Wall Motor’s Haval H6 — noted 33,318 units in January. It’s important also to remember that the Model Y was the best-selling plug-in crossover/SUV in 2021 — its initial year in China.
UK: Deliveries of the Tesla Model Y in the UK have officially begun, according to Electric. The first 25 cars were handed over to owners, with the final mass car transfer event scheduled for February 19, 2022. Prices in the UK start from £54,990, rising to £64,990 for the Performance model. Customers can take advantage of Tesla’s extensive Supercharging network, which is capable of 250 kW charging. The Model Y has been out in Europe since last summer, with deliveries picking up steam a few weeks after the first vehicles arrived. Much of the additional vehicle load was produced in the Shanghai Gigafactory, which is slowly becoming one of Tesla’s bigger production facilities.
Final Thoughts on Tesla Model Y Sales
The novelty of the Model Y is starting to diminish and is becoming replaced by stories of long trips, introductions to Supercharging, and just getting familiar with state-of-the-art personal transportation.
And, as often is the case with dreams, the Model Y reality has lived up to nearly all of its original hype. It’s drawing many consumers into the EV fold, offering what the New York Times has called a “breakthrough moment.”
It’s truly a fabulous car to own and drive.
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.