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Tesla's Model Y could be closer to a debut than we thought

CEO Elon Musk surprised everyone with some Model Y stats during Tesla's Q4 earnings call.

Mark Schiefelbein/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla has been teasing the idea of an affordable companion for its Model 3 sedan for a while now, and during Wednesday's quarterly earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave us maybe the biggest piece of news on the Model Y that we've yet seen.

The Model Y will be based on the Model 3 sedan and will share as much as 75 percent of its parts with the most affordable Tesla. That's huge. We've been skeptical of Musk's claims that Model Y would be in production by 2020, but with that amount of shared parts, perhaps there is much less engineering heavy lifting to be done than we thought.

The other interesting tidbit he gave about the Model Y was that if Tesla has its druthers, the Model Y won't be built alongside the S, X and 3 in Fremont. It will get its own dedicated production line at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. This makes a ton of sense, particularly when you consider just how little room Tesla has left in Fremont (remember the tent, people?).

What else do we know? Not much. We expect that the Model Y will be some kind of crossover and that it could outstrip demand for the Model 3, given the market's thirst for anything that looks vaguely off-road-y.

We don't have any production dates, projected costs, etc. but we'll look forward to more information on the project as well as a potential unveiling as 2019 wears on.