Elon Musk explains what happened to Tesla Model Y Standard Range

In a few words, the Model Y Standard Range got the "$35,000 Model 3" treatment.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Tesla Model Y
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Tesla Model Y

It's just Tesla being Tesla again.


This week brought a new Tesla mystery, after the automaker quietly removed the Model Y Standard Range from its public configurator. The move came after the model was officially available for order via the website for less than two months, and got a $2,000 price drop last week. Needless to say, we joined prospective Tesla buyers in wondering what the hell happened.

CEO Elon Musk himself provided an explanation Monday evening after a Twitter user asked the Tesla boss what's going on. In Musk's words, "it's still available off menu." If that approach sounds familiar, it's because Tesla used it with the infamous "$35,000 ." After some hoopla and fanfare welcoming the affordable EV's arrival, the electric sedan disappeared from the online configurator and became available for order by phone or in person. Effectively, Tesla didn't want to sell the particular version of the Model 3. Today, it's gone altogether.

Adding more context, Musk said in the same tweet, "I don't think the range, in many drive conditions, yet meets Tesla's standard of excellence." This seems to play back into Musk's thinking last year when he announced we weren't getting a Model Y Standard Range at all. Yet, this past January, the vehicle made a surprise debut online with a 244-mile estimated range. Musk in 2020 said the Model Y Standard Range would likely sport an "unacceptably low" 250-mile range, so he was on the money with that estimate. It sounds like Musk and friends had a change of heart. Or, it's another one of Tesla's epically creative no-money-spent marketing stunts.

If you're hoping for a reprieve in the form of a cheaper Model Y Long Range RWD, Musk shot that idea down in a followup tweet saying there's "too much product complexity" in Tesla's lineup as it stands. So, if you want a cheap Model Y, pick up the phone or head to a Tesla retail store. You won't see the company making any effort to sell the $39,990 electric SUV outright.

Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.

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