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Tesla launches the Model Y electric crossover

Elon Musk has unveiled Tesla’s Model Y electric sports utility vehicle in California, promising a much-awaited crossover that will face competition from European car makers rolling out their own electric rivals. Ed Giles reports.

HAWTHORNE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES AND VARIOUS (REUTERS / TESLA) – Tesla CEO Elon Musk has launched his company’s latest electric offering – a compact SUV named the Model Y.

Musk showed off the vehicle, designed to appeal to a market hungry for crosssovers, in California on Thursday (March 14).

The much-anticipated Model Y is built on the same platform as Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 sedan.

It’s bigger and uses the same battery.

Pricing will start from $39 000 for the standard version but that won’t be available until 2021.

Anyone who wants to get into a Model Y ASAP will have to spring about 47 grand for the long range model set to hit the streets next year.

That one will get you 300 miles between charges.

The Model Y is an important addition to Tesla’s lineup.

The Model S and Model X offered luxury sedan and SUV. The Model 3 and now its cousin Model Y offering a sedan and SUV for everyone else.

Compact SUVs are the fastest growing market segment in the U.S. and China.

And the launch of the affordable Model Y is set to appeal to a global auto market that can’t get enough of crossovers.

Musk himself said he expects demand for the “Y” could be 50 percent higher than the Model 3, during a January earnings call.

But Musk’s launch of the company’s small SUV comes as competition amongst automakers over electric vehicles heats up.

Until now, Tesla’s largely been running its own race.

But now, Audi, Mercedez Benz and Jaguar are making their own electric SUV dreams a reality.

The launch also comes amid a new wave of public spats between Musk and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC asked a Manhattan court to hold Musk in contempt.

They say a February tweet by the CEO about Tesla’s production volumes violated a fraud settlement between Musk and the SEC over another tweet about taking the company private from last year.

Musk argued in a public filing this week his February 19 tweet complied with the conditions of the settlement.

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