By on July 13, 2020

Image: Tesla

Most car buyers prefer to spend less money for more performance, and the more eco-conscious among us can now get into one Tesla Model Y trim for a lower price, while the loftier version makes a previously optional Performance Package standard.

Tesla has cut pricing on the Model Y Long Range by $3,000 while also giving the Performance trim a boost.

You can now get the Long Range trim for $49,990, instead of $52,990. If go-fast goodies tickle you in the right places, the Performance Package – upgraded brakes, lowered suspension, aluminum pedals, top speed increased by 10 mph to 155, 21-inch wheels – is now standard on the Performance model.

The drop in the base price for the Long Range trim puts the Model Y at just $3K over the price of an equivalent Model 3.

These price cuts follow slashes of the Model S and Model X Long Range Plus by $5,000, to $79,990 and $74,990, respectively, in late May. Performance trims for the Model S and Model X also saw a $5K cut, and every trim of the Model 3 had $2,000 slashed from their prices.

The Model Y hasn’t been on sale long, but it’s not unusual for Tesla to adjust pricing. Other automakers also tweak pricing frequently, of course, although most OEMs tend to keep pricing consistent for a model year, instead using incentives and other deals to make short-term adjustments.

If you have Tesla intentions but were just short of the necessary budget needed to get your hands on one, these price changes might be enticing.

[Image: Tesla]

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17 Comments on “Tesla’s Model Y Gets More Go for Less Dough...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…the more eco-conscious among us can now get into one Tesla Model Y trim for a lower price”

    Why do you keep promoting this stereotype?

    Or did you mean “economically-conscious”?

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not about being “eco-conscious”. It’s about quick acceleration. It’s about instant response without a downshift when you put the pedal to the metal. Any reliable surveys that show that Teslas are purchased primarily for eco reasons? Id’ be surprised if that’s why they sell. They are performance cars that happen to be green. That’s why people buy them.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Can’t be all about that…I’d have seen more than 2 at the drag strip if that alone was what was moving them.

        Honestly though if that’s what you are about my friend has a Third Gen Firebird he’s about 25-30 k into that will bury both of them if your aim is to accelerate rapidly.

        • 0 avatar

          A built drag car is obviously quite a bit different from a new sedan.

          I know you are more of a trackday fan but for those that enjoy getting to the speed limit with extreme immediacy the acceleration of Tesla’s offerings is a big positive.

          However, I don’t buy that Tesla buyers aren’t also in big way in it for environmental (and AV tech) reasons and I don’t think Steph’s characterization was out of line.

    • 0 avatar

      YMMV, but if I buy something with a plug “eco-consciousness” will be a very big reason, even if it isn’t necessarily #1.

      • 0 avatar

        @ajla: I agree with you. I don’t like noise or air pollution and try to avoid anything that contributes. In the case of EVs, they manage to meet other requirements like performance and being able to fuel at home. A 2WD hellcat charger redeye does 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and costs $72k. A Model 3 Performance does 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, has AWD, and costs $54k. It’s hard to find a sedan with that kind of acceleration for that price electric or otherwise.

    • 0 avatar

      Anti-eco arguments against electric vehicles lose steam as time goes by as more and more electricity comes from renewable sources.

      The important point is that even early adoption of electric vehicles accelerates this trend, as it addresses the largest issue with wind and solar, energy storage and management, by spurring the development of battery technology, production and recycling.

      Tesla, specifically, appears to be an infrastructure company that makes cars as part of its overall strategy. Its goal is nothing less than the remaking of our energy economy.

  • avatar

    Musk said these are appreciating assets due to the ability to robotaxi.
    I guess he’s just cutting the price to be a humanitarian.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      If he said that, he’s crazier than I thought.

    • 0 avatar

      Musk’s fans conveniently forget and excuse when he says blatantly stupid things. They prefer to think of his as visionary and optimistic, rather than a compulsive liar. They’re cars, they’re electric, they’re pretty good and they’re popular. But they’re never, ever going to drive themselves.

  • avatar

    The world’s most valuable automaker now cuts prices and/or adds content with no price increase, on a fairly regular basis.

    Most other OEM’s regularly increase price and/or remove content with no price decrease.

  • avatar

    the “eco” is pretty ridiculous –
    ? ever wonder why power plants are always near huge bodies of water ?
    ? ever wonder why the step up transformers have all those and fans ?
    ? ever wonder about that huge hum from those 330kv lines ?
    ? again , ever wonder about all the cooling apparatus on the step down transformers ?
    ? copper losses ?
    ? lamination losses ?
    ? hysteresis losses ?
    ? various other generation / distribution losses ?
    ( didn’t even need to mention coal )

    the go faster firebird mentioned above is probably more efficient –

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      ? ever hear of economies of scale ?

      Economies of scale are why you connect to the grid instead of powering your house with a personal generator. It’s also why a fleet of EVs is always more efficient than a fleet of ICEs.

      • 0 avatar

        economies of scale do a fair job at the generational level ,but look what happens getting it to your receptacle –

        Lost In Transmission: How Much Electricity Disappears Between A Power Plant And Your Plug?
        By Jordan Wirfs-Brock Jordan Wirfs-Brock | November 6, 2015

        Inside Energy

        How much energy is lost along the way as electricity travels from a power plant to the plug in your home? This question comes from Jim Barlow, a Wyoming architect, through our IE Questions project.

        To find the answer, we need to break it out step by step: first turning raw materials into electricity, next moving that electricity to your neighborhood, and finally sending that electricity through the walls of your home to your outlet.


        Step 1: Making Electricity

        Power plants – coal, natural gas, petroleum or nuclear – work on the same general principle. Energy-dense stuff is burned to release heat, which boils water into steam, which spins a turbine, which generates electricity. The thermodynamic limits of this process (“Damn that rising entropy!”) mean only two-thirds of the energy in the raw materials actually make it onto the grid in the form of electricity.

        Energy lost in power plants: About 65%, or 22 quadrillion Btus in the U.S. in 2013

        This graph shows the heating efficiency of different types of power plants. All types of plants have roughly the same efficiency, with the exception of natural gas, which has seen recent improvements in efficiency in recent years with the addition of combined cycle plants.
        This graph shows the heating efficiency of different types of power plants. All types of plants have roughly the same efficiency, with the exception of natural gas, which has seen recent improvements in efficiency in recent years with the addition of combined cycle plants. (The coal efficiency line is nearly identical with nuclear energy, and is swallowed up in the purple).

        Step 2: Moving Electricity – Transmission and Distribution

        Most of us don’t live right next to a power plant. So we somehow have to get electricity to our homes. This sounds like a job for powerlines.


        First, electricity travels on long-distance, high-voltage transmission lines, often miles and miles across country. The voltage in these lines can be hundreds of thousands of volts. You don’t want to mess with these lines.

        Why so much voltage? To answer this question, we need to review some high school physics, namely Ohm’s law. Ohm’s law describes how the amount of power in electricity and its characteristics – voltage, current and resistance – are related. It boils down to this: Losses scale with the square of a wire’s current. That square factor means a tiny jump in current can cause a big bump in losses. Keeping voltage high lets us keep current, and losses, low. (For history nerds: This is why AC won the battle of the currents. Thanks, George Westinghouse.)

        The sagginess of power lines is actually the limiting factor in their design. Engineers have to make sure they don’t get too close to trees and buildings.
        Jordan Wirfs-Brock / Inside Energy

        The sagginess of power lines is actually the limiting factor in their design. Engineers have to make sure they don’t get too close to trees and buildings.

        When that electricity is lost, where does it go? Heat. Electrons moving back and forth crash into each other, and those collisions warm up power lines and the air around them.

        You can actually hear those losses: That crackling sound when you stand under a transmission tower is lost electricity. You can see the losses, too: Notice how power lines sag in the middle? Some of that’s gravity. But the rest are electrical losses. Heat, like the kind from lost electricity, makes metal power lines expand. When they do, they sag. Powerlines are saggier, and leakier, on hot days.


        High-voltage transmission lines are big, tall, expensive, and potentially dangerous so we only use them when electricity needs to travel long distances. At substations near your neighborhood, electricity is stepped down onto smaller, lower-voltage power lines – the kind on wooden poles. Now we’re talking tens of thousands of volts. Next, transformers (the can-shaped things sitting on those poles) step the voltage down even more, to 120 volts, to make it safe to enter your house.

        Generally, smaller power lines mean bigger relative losses. So even though electricity may travel much farther on high-voltage transmission lines – dozens or hundreds of miles – losses are low, around two percent. And though your electricity may travel a few miles or less on low-voltage distribution lines, losses are high, around four percent.

        Energy lost in transmission and distribution: About 6% – 2% in transmission and 4% in distribution – or 69 trillion Btus in the U.S. in 2013

        Jordan Wirfs-Brock

        This graph shows the average percent of electricity lost during transmission and distribution, by state, from 1990 to 2013. With the exception of Idaho, the states with the lowest losses are all rural, and the states with the highest losses are all densely populated.

        Fun fact: Transmission and distribution losses tend to be lower in rural states like Wyoming and North Dakota. Why? Less densely populated states have more high-voltage, low-loss transmission lines and fewer lower-voltage, high-loss distribution lines. Explore the transmission and distribution losses in your state on our interactive graphic.

        Transmission and distribution losses vary country to country as well. Some countries, like India, have losses pushing 30 percent. Often, this is due to electricity thieves.

        Step 3: Using Electricity Inside Your Home

        Utility companies meticulously measure losses from the power plant to your meter. They have to, because every bit they lose eats into their bottom line. But once you’ve purchased electricity and it enters your home, we lose track of the losses.

        Your house, and the wires inside your walls, are kind of a black box, and figuring how much electricity gets lost – electricity that you’ve already paid for – is tricky. If you want to find out how much electricity gets lost in your home you’ll either need to estimate it using a circuit diagram of your house or measure it by putting meters on all of your appliances. Are you an energy wonk attempting this? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

        Energy lost in the wiring inside your walls: We don’t know! It could be negligible, or it could be another few percent.

        The Future Of Transmission and Distribution Losses

        Grid engineers are working on technologies like superconducting materials that could essentially reduce electricity transmission and distribution losses to zero. But for now, the cost of these technologies is much higher than the money lost by utility companies through their existing hot, leaky power lines.

        A more economical solution to reduce transmission and distribution losses is to change how and when we use power. Losses aren’t a constant quantity. They change every instant based on things like the weather and power consumption. When demand is high, like when we’re all running our ACs on hot summer days, losses are higher. When demand is low, like in the middle of the night, losses are lower. Utilities are experimenting with ways to spread out electricity use more evenly to minimize losses.

        The same principle applies to your house, which is basically your own personal grid. You can reduce losses in your home by spreading out your electricity use evenly throughout the day, instead of running all your appliances at once.

        Adding Up The Losses

        Generating electricity, we lost 22 quadrillion Btu from coal, natural gas, nuclear and petroleum power plants in 2013 in the U.S. – that’s more than the energy in all the gasoline we use in a given year.
        Moving electricity from plants to homes and businesses on the transmission and distribution grid, we lost 69 trillion Btu in 2013 – that’s about how much energy Americans use drying our clothes every year.

        • 0 avatar

          Your link:

          Another take on power line losses [numbers are worse than ‘yours’] (“The overall losses between the power plant and consumers is then in the range between 8 and 15%.”):

          To compare the ICE vehicle efficiency all the way down the chain (“well to wheel”), you would have to consider engine inefficiency (same issue as powerplants) and driveline inefficiency (analogous to power line transmission losses), plus all the inefficiencies in getting fuel to your vehicle.

          One take:

          –>”Over the whole WTW energy chain, only the best case for ICE is slightly more efficient than the worst case for EV.”

          [The Firebird at the drag strip has a considerable additional chunk of inefficiency attributable to wheelslip.]

          • 0 avatar

            Potentially interesting – with a farm tractor, something like 40% of your fuel cost is lost to tractive efficiency including wheel slip:


          • 0 avatar

            Definitely interesting – a tire with an expected life of 1.5 miles:


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