Tesla rolls out US$50,000 electric SUV

Business | 15 Mar 2019 9:01 pm

Tesla unveiled a new all-electric SUV on Thursday night that the automaker hopes will win over consumers looking for an all-electric alternative in the most popular segment of the auto market.

Cheers from a hangar-packed crowd of Tesla customers, employees and members of the media welcomed a blue Model Y as it rolled out onto a stage next to the automaker’s other models.

"It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car,” chief executive Elon Musk told the crowd. "This thing will be really tight on corners and we expect it will be the safest midsize SUV in the world by far.”

The Model Y seats seven and has a panoramic glass roof and a 15-inch touchscreen interface for accessing all the car’s controls.

The all-electric, mid-size SUV will start at $39,000 for the standard range version, which the company said can go 230 miles on a single charge. The long-range model, which starts at US$47,000, has a range of up to 300 miles on a single charge - less range than the Model 3.

A dual-motor, all-wheel drive version of the Model Y starts at US$51,000 while the performance version of the car, which boasts acceleration of 0-60 mph (97 kph) in as little as 3.5 seconds and a top speed of up to 150 mph, starts at US$60,000.

The Model Y may be Tesla’s most important product yet as it attempts to expand into the mainstream and generate enough cash to repay massive debts that threaten to topple the Palo Alto, California, company.-AP

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