The Tesla Model Y Electric SUV: The Complete Guide For India

Tesla Model Y electric car india
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Body type: SUV
Battery size: 75 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 283 - 331 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 0g (CO2/km)

India Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


India, like many other countries, is well positioned to benefit from the shift to zero-tailpipe emission electric driving. Road transportation is a major contributor to air pollution (over 30%), choking our towns, cities and villages across India. Diesel vehicles, in particular, diesel trucks and diesel buses, are significant sources for tailpipe emissions. But given the rise in the standard of living, since liberalisation, the demand for privately owned passenger cars has increased at an unprecedented pace, further worsening the air quality. India has more than 3 crores (30 million) cars releasing tailpipe emissions on its roads!

Though we have seen some improvements in air quality during the ongoing pandemic (as a result of lower vehicle traffic), India’s shift to electric driving will be key in achieving long-term higher air quality. Of course, apart from EVs, the continued development of green and renewable energy infrastructure will be key in achieving lower long-term air pollution. India has already demonstrated global leadership in regards to large-scale solar and wind projects! Hopefully, India will replicate the success with zero-emission electric vehicles.

Despite recent announcements and support from local and national government agencies in India, the EV market is still at a nascent stage, well, at least in terms of electric cars and electric vans. Two-wheel electric scooters and three-wheel electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) have demonstrated a strong uptake, and India is poised to become a global leader in electric scooters and electric rickshaws (e-tuk). In fact, the ubiquitous e-rickshaw commands an impressive 83% of the Indian electric vehicle market. India currently has over 15 lakhs (1.5 million) e-rickshaws, with each EV playing a role in reducing tailpipe emissions on our roads in India.

Sales of passenger electric cars is still at an early stage. In FY2021, though the market witnessed a growth of nearly 110% from the previous year, the absolute volume of cars sold was only 5,905 electric cars. Currently there are less that 15 pure electric car models available on sale in India.

Tata Motors, the biggest automotive manufacturer in India has launched the Tata Nexon electric SUV. Mahindra Electric, another leading Indian automotive manufacturer, has also launched a number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), to include, the Mahindra eVerito electric car, Mahindra eSupro electric van and Mahindra e2o Plus compact electric car. International manufacturers, like UK based MG Motors, have also launched the MG ZS electric SUV in India. Also available are the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV and the Hyundai Kona electric SUV.

For those keen on an overview of the types of electric vehicles (EVs), simply scroll down to the end of the article.



Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The Tesla Model Y Electric Car


Tesla Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors Inc.) is a US based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer with the following portfolio of electric vehicles:

The Model Y is a Tesla Model 3 based crossover with inspiration also taken from the Tesla Model X SUV.  However the Model Y does not have the iconic ‘falcon wing doors’ used in the Model X. The Model Y has been developed to further increase the ‘mass market appeal’ of Tesla pure electric cars.  

A strategy very similar to the successful Tesla Model 3.  However, unlike the Model 3, the Model Y has room for up to seven adults with an optional third row.  The extra seats are an additional cost. Tesla commenced Model Y deliveries for the US market in early 2020 (6 months ahead of schedule). 

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV is available in three variants: the entry-level Tesla Model Y, the Model Y Long Range and the Model Y Performance. The entry-level is a rear-wheel drive (RWD), while the other two are offered as dual motor all-wheel drive (AWD).

In terms of pure electric range, neither of the variants disappoint. The entry-level variant has a claimed zero-emission electric range up to 283 miles (WLTP), while the Long Range has a range up to 331 miles (WLTP). The top of the line, Model Y Performance had an e-range up to 319 miles (WLTP).

Even adjusting for real-world driving conditions, the range for the Model Y is impressive. For the entry level, expect a real-world electric range closer to 240 miles. For the Long Range, a pure electric range up to 285 miles is more realistic. For the Performance, expect an electric range closer to 275 miles. For those new to electric driving, a number of factors impact the EV range. Some of these include: road conditions, speed, weather, payload, passenger load, tyre size, driving profile and more!

Tesla owners benefit from the Tesla Supercharger network. In fact, Tesla owns and operates the largest fast charging network globally (35,000+ globally). Tesla claims that Superchargers can add up to 172 miles of electric range in just 15 minutes. The Superchargers offers a maximum DC charging rate up to 250 kW. For single-phase (7.4 kW) EV charging at home, the EV will take up to 12 hours to fully charge.

We at e-zoomed encourage using a dedicated single-phase residential EV charger like myenergi zappi for charging at home. Though electric cars can be charged via a domestic 3-PIN plug, we at e-zoomed do not encourage using a domestic plug for charging an electric car.

In terms of performance, the entry-level rear-wheel drive Model Y can achieve 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, with a top speed up to 135 mph. The all-wheel drive Tesla Model Y Long Range can achieve 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed up to 135 mph. The top of the line, Tesla Model Y Performance can achieve 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, with a top speed up to 155 mph. Of course, the Tesla electric car also benefits from instant torque.

The interior of the electric car is designed for minimalism and space. The EV includes a 15 inch touchscreen display and a number of advanced features, either available as standard or an additional option. Some of these include: all-glass roof, 360 degrees rear, side and forward-facing cameras, Tesla Vision (detects nearby cars, helps prevent potential collisions and assists with parking), Tesla Autopilot, summon, smart summon, auto park, auto lane change and more. The EV is practical. The boot size is 854 L. The electric car also has a ‘frunk’ under the bonnet (117 L).

The Tesla Model Y electric SUV is not available in India.


PROS CONS
Good pure electric rangeExpensive. Cheaper pure electric alternatives available
Fast electric performanceAdditional 3rd row passengers will have very limited headroom given the sloping roofline
Supercharger network/ 250 kW DC chargingAll-wheel drive not standard on all variants

The All-Electric Tesla Model Y (credit:Tesla)


Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:SUV (crossover)
Engine:Electric
Available In India:No

Trims (3 Options)
Tesla Model Y
Tesla Long Range
Tesla Performance

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 75 kWh
Charging:Up to 250 kW DC Rapid Charging (10%-80%: 36 mins). Onboard charger 11 kW AC (3-Phase)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1624
Width (mm):1920
Length (mm):4750
Wheelbase (mm):2890
Turning Circle (m):11.8
Boot Volume (L):854

Tesla Model Y
EV Battery Capacity:75 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):283 – 331 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):171
Charging:Up to 250 kW DC Rapid Charging (10%-80%: 36 mins). Onboard charger 11 kW AC (3-Phase)
Top Speed:135 – 155 mph
0-60 mph:3.5 – 6.6 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)/ All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):258
Max Power (PS):351
Torque (Nm):527
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5 (additional row option up to 7)
Doors:5
Weight (kg):1,909 – 1,995
Colours:5
NCAP Safety Rating:N/A

Overview: Types Of Electric Vehicles (EVs)


Electric vehicle” is an umbrella term, and a broad one at that. There are a number of different types of electric vehicles (EVs), each with its distinct characteristics and advantages. These include:

  • BEVs: Battery-electric vehicles (pure electric)
  • PHEVs: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) combined)
  • MHEVs: Mild hybrid electric vehicles (internal combustion engine (gasoline or diesel) along with regenerative braking)
  • FCEVs: Fuel cell electric vehicle (electric with hydrogen as fuel)

The above “types” are powered either entirely or partially by electric energy and have different environmental impacts.


Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs)


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), also known as pure electric vehicles, are powered entirely by electricity (i.e. the vehicle does not have a conventional internal combustion engine). BEVs have zero-tailpipe emissions and help improve local air quality.

BEVs are also very economical to drive. A BEV can cost as little as Rs 50 per 100 kilometres to drive. Examples of best-selling EVs include, the all-electric Tesla Model 3 and the all-electric Renault Zoe. A BEV is charged by plugging in the electric vehicle to a dedicated electric car charging station (home or public charging stations). BEVs are well suited for those living in towns, cities and urban centres. Of course, battery-electric vehicles are also suitable for those living in rural settings.


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) differ from battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), in that, PHEVs use both a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric engine for propulsion. Plug-in hybrid vehicles combine the advantages of electric driving and internal combustion engine driving.

On shorter distances, the PHEV uses the electric mode to drive emission-free, using the on-board EV battery and regenerative braking. For longer distances, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles switches to using the internal combustion engine. With a PHEV, the vehicle can cost as little Rs 50 per 100 kilometres to drive on e-mode, without any tailpipe pollution, and also be driven long-distances, without the fear of range anxiety! Most PHEVs have an EV battery of up to 15 kWh and can achieve a zero-emission electric range of up to 50 kilometres. No wonder PHEVs are fast becoming popular globally, with much potential or India. Like a BEV, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is charged by using an external power source (EV charging point) for charging.

PHEVs are suitable for those that drive long-distances on a regular basis but want to lower the negative environmental impact from tailpipe pollution. PHEVs are also suitable for those individuals and families that are seeking to save money by taking advantage of electric driving. The Volvo XC40 PHEV and the Volkswagen Golf 8 are good examples of PHEVs.


Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEVs)


Mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs) are a limited form of electric driving. These vehicles also use hybrid technologies (electric driving and internal combustion engine), but the EV battery is much smaller than a BEV or PHEV. Moreover, in a mild hybrid, the EV battery cannot be charged via an external source (i.e. EV charging station). In a MHEV, the battery is charged by capturing the energy released during braking, a process known as regenerative braking. MHEVs have lower tailpipe emissions, and are more economical to own, run and maintain than petrol and diesel cars. MHEVs are a better option than a petrol or diesel car, but not as good an option as a BEV or PHEV. Mild hybrids are well suited for those living in regions with limited charging infrastructure. Again, MHEVs have great potential in India, given the limited public EV charging infrastructure.

The Toyota Prius is a good example of a mild hybrid electric vehicle.


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) also called hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, have a fuel cell stack that uses hydrogen to generate the electricity needed to power the electric vehicle. The fuel cell generates electricity and pure water vapour that can escape via the tailpipe. It is capable of generating electricity as long as there is a steady supply of hydrogen. Fuel cell electric vehicles can be refuelled with hydrogen at purpose built filling stations. Filling an FEC takes no more than five minutes.

FCEVs have a range of about 500 kilometers or more between refueling. Today, the only and major limitation is the very limited hydrogen refuelling station network globally. The Toyota Mirai FCEV is a good example of this type of EV.


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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