Tesla Hits Town With Best-Selling Model Y

By Lee Pang Seng

TESLA has bucked the automotive world with its bold EV (electric vehicle) move in the early 2000s, gaining strong momentum over the years to achieve an annual sales volume of more than a million in 2022. The Model Y is one of its best movers and is the obvious choice to make Tesla’s entry into the Malaysian market.

Billed as an SUV (sport utility vehicle) or Crossover, the Model Y comes with three model variants to pander the Malaysian preference. As a five-seater, the Model Y is a compact Crossover that would face many rivals here from Germany, China, Japan, Sweden and South Korea given its starting price of RM199,000.

Tesla’s confidence in making inroads here has seen to eight Superchargers being installed in the carpark of Pavilion Bukit Bintang. Once it has secured the licence to operate this Supercharger station, the iconic Tesla chargers would be put to good use among prospective Model Y owners.

Tesla is embarking on an ambitious move to install a chain of Superchargers on the west coast of the peninsula, focusing initially on the Klang Valley with Penang, Ipoh and Johor Baru being the other strategic cities that would have them. That should encourage prospective Tesla owners to include the Model Y in their garage.

With the Tesla Supercharger operating at peak efficiency of 250kW, the Model Y could be charged up to 120km in just five minutes. If you want more mileage, then you could have it with a 30-minute charge that is said to deliver more than 400km in range. Tesla claims to have the world’s largest fast charging network and its efforts to help the Malaysian government have 10,000 chargers installed by 2025 should be felt soon enough.

The three models made available are the Model Y RWD (rear wheel drive), Model Y Long Range (all wheel drive) and Model Y Performance (all wheel drive). Described as Tesla’s newest and most affordable electric SUV, it is said to represent a critical step in the company’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. By the way, Tesla does not see itself as a car manufacturer but a solutions provider.

To measure up to its mid-size SUV status, the Model Y comes with 2100 litres of luggage space and versatile seating and storage for up to five people. The Model Y RWD has a 430km range (WLTP) on a full charge and accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds. The battery and drive unit warranty is eight years or 160,000km. It is fitted with 19-inch Gemini wheels and for an additional RM10,000, you could have 20-inch Induction wheels.

The Model Y Long Range has a range of 533km and 0-100km/h sprint of 5.0 seconds, while the Model Y Performance has a shorter range of 514km and the fastest 0-100km/h acceleration at 3.7 seconds. Both these models have dual motors and a battery and drive unit warranty of eight years or 192,000km.

The Model Y Long Range comes with 19-inch Gemini wheels and like the Model Y RWD, you could have 20-inch Induction wheels at an additional RM10,000. The Model Y Performance comes standard with 21-inch Uberturbine wheels.

By downloading the Tesla App on your handphone, you could use it for the Model Y equipment functions. You could also find out where the nearest Supercharger is with the App among other useful benefits. In short, the handphone is as good as your key to the Model Y.
These Tesla Crossover EVs come with the Pearl White Multi-Coat as the standard body colour but by adding another RM5,000, you opt for three optional hues – Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic or Deep Blue Metallic. If you want a more exclusive sheen, then cough up RM10,000 and you would get the Red Multi-Coat body colour.

The interior is all black but pay an extra RM5,000 and you would have a black and white interior. Premium interior features are standard for the Model Y RWD and Long range while the Model Y Performance gets an additional Performance Upgrade.

Five seats are standard and the Basic Autopilot function is installed for all the models. If you want the Enhanced Autopilot, you would have to come up with an additional RM16,000 to enjoy Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change and Autopark. For full self-driving capability that includes all the functionality of Basic Autopilot and Enhanced Autopilot, it would cost you RM32,000.

The vehicle prices mentioned at the Model Y launch do not include these add-on tags. As it were, the Model Y’s price starts at RM199,000 that is the result of a 100-per cent import, excise duty and road tax exemption. The Model Y Long Range price starts from RM246,000 and Model Y performance is RM288,000. These prices also exclude insurance.