Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Wednesday that he recently approved the final prototype of the Model Y, signaling that the forthcoming all-electric crossover SUV is far enough along in development to go into production. Approval aside, though, he said full volume production still isn’t slated to happen until 2020, which has been the target for a while now. “We’ve made significant progress on the Model Y,” Musk said in an uncharacteristically subdued call with investors and analysts, following news of the company’s first profitable quarter in two years. The CEO has previously teased a March 2019 reveal of the SUV. Musk didn’t offer any more detail about the Model Y’s development, but one reason for the delay is that Tesla doesn’t have anywhere to build it yet. The company is already at the limits of its Fremont, California factory, to the point that it had to build a giant tent in the parking lot earlier this year to meet demand for the Model 3 sedan. Tesla currently only occupies about 30 percent of its Gigafactory in Nevada, so there’s room there. But Tesla would need time and money to tool the facility for vehicle production and assembly. Right now, the company only makes batteries for all of its cars and energy products, as well as drivetrains for the Model 3, at that location. Documents filed with the government in Shanghai this week showed that Tesla plans to make two different cars at the planned Gigafactory there. One will assuredly be… [Read full story]
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