Tesla receives EPA approval for a new variant of Model Y. It is a 279-mile version, which was seen on EPA’s Fuel Economy website on Saturday. Earlier it was known that Tesla was waiting for approval for the Austin-built Model Y. It was based on Q4 2021 report. Though the automaker already received various Model Y variant approvals, the Texas-built Model Y did not get the approvals yet.
The Giga Texas model would equip not only Tesla’s new 4680 battery cells but also the structural battery pack. However, the new Model Y variant, according to FuelEconomy.gov, only equips 279 miles of range, which seems to indicate that this is not the 4680-equipped Model Y that Tesla would be delivering to customers initially. InsideEVs initially reported on the appearance of the new Model Y variant on the Fuel Economy website.
In January, Tesla announced that it had produced its millionth 4680 battery cell at the Kato Road facility in Northern California. While this is an accomplishment Tesla was obviously proud of, it wasn’t necessarily confirmed that the 4680 cells were ready to be equipped in a massive number of Model Y vehicles. 1 million 4680 cells would produce around 1,200 Model Y vehicles, according to Industry researcher Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. The 279-mile rated Model Y that appeared on FuelEconomy.gov could be an LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) cell, which Tesla and other automakers have started to use for its Standard Range vehicles.
279-mile Model Y variant
The EPA received an application from Tesla on February 2, according to agency filings. The EPA then granted a Certificate of Conformity for this application on February 16, which could be an indication that Tesla has received approval to begin delivering this new, mysterious 279-mile Model Y variant. Furthermore, Tesla has also applied for another EPA certification of a Model Y variant. The application was submitted on February 23 but has not received a Certificate of Conformity, which would allow the car to enter the stream of commerce, from the EPA as of March 13.
As of now, Tesla does not have a 279-mile variant of the Model Y listed on its design studio. Only the Long Range All-Wheel-Drive and Performance variants are available to order. However, it could begin to offer the variant in the coming days, especially if the company plans to roll out a new Standard Range configuration that could equip LFP cells. Tesla took a move with the Model 3 in August 2021. As Tesla was battling high order volume for the Model 3, the company communicated to customers awaiting delivery that they could switch to a different pack it uses in Europe and Asia.