Crossover SUV will help the company sell its first 1 million cars.

By David Z. Morris
May 6, 2017

Tesla Motors this week reported that first-quarter revenue had more than doubled year over year. During the subsequent earnings call, chief executive Elon Musk gave several insights into the company’s plans, including a general timeline for the Model Y, the company’s electric crossover sport utility vehicle. Musk says the vehicle will be crucial to meeting the company’s goal of delivering 1 million vehicles by 2020.

“I think we need to come up with the Model Y sometime in 2020 or, aspirationally, late 2019,” Musk said on the call. “And then I think that 1 million units is quite likely, combined, yeah. Maybe more.”

Musk also revealed that the Model Y will be based on a “different platform” than the $35,000 Model 3 sedan—something of a surprise, since most major automakers share parts between models to save on development and production costs.

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But Musk indicated that the new Model Y platform is itself a push for efficiency and aims to continue the company’s strategy of designing cars that are more simple to manufacture. As an example, Musk said that while the electrical system of the Model S included three kilometers (1.86 mi.) of wires, the Model 3 slashed that figure by half. The Model Y’s wiring harness will be only 100 meters (328 ft.) long, he added.

Thanks to that sort of streamlining, Musk said “there will be nothing close to” the manufacturing efficiency of the Model Y.

On the subject of the Model 3, Musk said the company was on track to begin production in July. Tesla plans to produce more than 5,000 cars a week by the end of 2017.

Musk also indicated that a Tesla pickup truck is well along the design pipeline. That model is “not going to be that widely separated in time” from the company’s electric semi truck, which is expected to be revealed in September.

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