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New Tesla Model Y Version Emerges On EPA’s List: But What Is It?

Is it the new Made-in-Texas car, equipped with 4680-type cylindrical battery cells or maybe LFP-powered?

We have just discovered an all-new 2022 Tesla Model Y version, listed by the EPA, which brings more questions than answers.

The new Model Y is called simply “AWD,” which means all-wheel-drive, but not “Long Range AWD,” like the existing one. In other words, it might have the same dual motor powertrain, but a smaller/different battery (lower energy capacity).

There is now a total of four 2022 Tesla Model Y (three other were listed in December):

  • RWD (listed, but not available)an entry-level version, “retired” due to not sufficient range, according to Tesla’s Elon Musk
  • Long Range AWD – currently available (19″ and 20″ wheels)
  • Performance AWD – currently available (21″ wheels)
  • AWD – the new version

As we can see, it has 279 miles (449 km) of range, and slightly higher efficiency than the Long Range AWD.

If the RWD was not good enough, maybe the AWD with two motors and a noticeably higher range will be the new entry-level Tesla Model Y in the US? Currently there is no official info about a new Tesla Model Y version on Tesla’s website.

2022 Tesla Model Y AWD :: EPA Range rating by InsideEVs[Electric Vehicle 5-cycle label]
CombinedCityHighway279 mi (449 km)291.9 mi (469.7 km)263.3 mi (423.6 km)
EPA Energy consumption (including charging losses):
CombinedCityHighway123 MPGe: 274 Wh/mi (170 Wh/km)129 MPGe: 261 Wh/mi (162 Wh/km)116 MPGe: 291 Wh/mi (181 Wh/km)

Considering similar energy consumption between AWD and Long Range AWD, and the range difference, we guess that the AWD has some 15-20% lower battery capacity.

Let’s compare the two side-by-side:

EV Comparison Side-by-Side by InsideEVs
Model2022 Tesla Model Y AWD[A]Difference[A] / [B]2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD 19″[B]
DriveAWDAWD
Battery80 kWh*
EPA Range
Combined279 mi(449 km)-15.5%330 mi(531 km)
City291.9 mi(470 km)-14.7%342.2 mi(551 km)
Highway263.3 mi(424 km)-16.6%315.7 mi(508 km)
Specs
0-60 mph4.8 s
Top speed135 mph(217 km/h)
EPA Energy Consumption (including charging losses)
Combined123 MPGe: 274 Wh/mi (170 Wh/km)0.8%122 MPGe: 276 Wh/mi (172 Wh/km)
City129 MPGe: 261 Wh/mi (162 Wh/km)1.6%127 MPGe: 265 Wh/mi (165 Wh/km)
Highway116 MPGe: 291 Wh/mi (181 Wh/km)-0.9%117 MPGe: 288 Wh/mi (179 Wh/km)
Prices
MSRP$59,990
Dest. Charge+$1,200
Tax CreditN/A
Effective Price$61,190

* estimated/unofficial values

It’s not clear at this point whether this is an upcoming new entry-level Tesla Model Y or just another “empty slot” (like the RWD).

Considering that the manufacturer not announced yet what versions of the Tesla Model Y will be produced at the Giga Austin plant in Texas, there is a chance that we come across the first car, powered by the 4680-type cylindrical battery cell.

But there is a big but. The new 4680-type cells and structural battery pack were expected to be more energy dense, so a car with a lower battery capacity should be lighter and noticeably more efficient. The AWD is only marginally more efficient.

It might be a version powered by the prismatic LFP cells. This option sounds reasonable, because we see a lower range (lower battery capacity) and a similar efficiency (probably due to a similar weight). LFP batteries are significantly less energy dense than the NCA.

A new LFP-powere Tesla Model Y would be interesting also from a business perspective as the company recently increased prices of Model 3/Model Y with high-nickel batteries.

Feel free to leave us a comment what you think about the new Tesla Model Y AWD.

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