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posted on May 5th, 2019

What’s new, what’s coming, and what’s going to blow you away

You may not know all the different Tesla models by name, but if you’ve spent any time on the road recently, you’ve probably spotted Tesla’s distinct sleek design driving next to you. And with the announcements of upcoming models to join the Tesla family — the Model Y, the Semi, a pickup truck, and the next-gen 2020 Tesla Roadster — you’ll have more opportunities to get in on the action and find a Tesla that fits your lifestyle. 

Four new models joining the Tesla fleet of cars is big news considering Tesla has added only three models — the Model S, the Model X, and the Model 3 — in the 11 years since debuting with the Tesla Roadster. This focus on improving technology versus creating more models in a short amount of time has allowed Tesla to work on “the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy.” 

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the new vehicles from Tesla you can look forward to.

Upcoming Tesla models

2020 TESLA ROADSTER

Image: Tesla

A lot of innovation has happened since the release of the first Tesla Roadster in 2008. Tesla says the next-gen Roadster is expected to go into production in 2020, with test drives possibly happening by the end of this year. On display during this year’s Tesla Autonomy Day, the prototype allowed Tesla fans to get a look inside this highly anticipated update of the sports car that put Tesla on the map. And boy were they not disappointed!

And if the updated all-electric supercar wasn’t enough already, customers will be able to add on a SpaceX Options Package (SpaceX, of course, is Elon Musk’s privately-owned company committed to cut down the cost of space travel) that will include cold thrusters. These thrusters are pretty much like little rockets hidden behind the license plate to boost acceleration, speed, braking, and cornering. Considering this car is supposed to be able to go from zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds, the added SpaceX Option package will make it fly, literally. Which might be the idea Musk is going for since he’s been hinting at testing the Roadster’s hover capabilities by the end of 2020.

Interested individuals can reserve a 2020 Tesla Roadster with a $50,000 deposit, or you can drop an additional $200,000 to jump to the front of the line and receive an exclusive “Founder’s Series” version.

MODEL Y

Image: Tesla

With the Model Y, Tesla hopes to tap into the affordable crossover SUV market, which saw 49 percent of the cars purchased within the $30,000 to $50,000 price range, according to J.D. Power. This past summer, speculations about where the long-term production of the Model Y will be, as well as the new technology used to efficiently build the car, has been the topic of many conversations. 

The good news is if you’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Model Y, the initial phase of production has already started, making it possible the car will be on the road by the end of 2019. And if you’re looking for the Model Y with standard range, that model won’t go into production until 2020 or 2021 (initial units will all include the long-range battery), but you can reserve it now with a down payment of $2,500.

The most exciting news about the Tesla Model Y might be the new technology used to build the car. Tesla is working on new patents to reduce the amount of wiring required, as well as a unibody casting machine, which will help speed up production. The hope behind these patents is to avoid the delays Tesla faced with the Model 3. Less time spent on building the vehicles is good for you, if you’re among the thousands (not) patiently waiting for your very own Model Y.

SEMI

Image: Tesla

The Tesla Semi is a step outside of what most people have come to know Tesla for — fast cars with sleek designs running completely on electricity. But in truth, it’s a fulfillment of Musk’s Master Plan Part Deux, where he outlined the need for a more energy-efficient and cost-effective means of transporting cargo.

Tesla is already using the Semis to deliver Tesla vehicles. And while production was supposed to begin in 2019, rumors of continuous prototype testing, Tesla’s focus on the demand for the Model 3, as well as the lack of answers when Musk was asked about the start of production for the Semi, have left many to believe production won’t actually start until 2020. 

But even with all the speculation of the date of delivery, the number of preorders continues to grow. Major companies such as Albertsons, Pepsi, Walmart, and Anheuser-Busch, who depend on the trucking industry to deliver their goods across the US and other countries, have already put in several orders for the heavy-duty, all-electric truck. 

And if the cargo transportation industry isn’t a big enough playground for Tesla to capture, companies like Vanlifer, based in New Zealand, are also closely following Tesla’s advancement in autopilot technology as well as the production of the Semi for their campervan concept, exciting news for anyone considering to join the #vanlife movement.

TESLA PICKUP

Of all the upcoming models Tesla is working on, the all-electric pickup is the one most shrouded in mystery. Even the way Musk describes the pickup, using phrases like “cyberpunk” feel and references to the movie “Blade Runner,” has most fans sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for any glimpse of what it could look like.

No production dates have been set, no picture released, just a potential price range of below $50,000 and the names of the competitors it hopes to beat.

What to expect from Tesla’s upcoming models

It’s becoming more obvious Tesla’s mission isn’t to just build new, cool-looking cars, though it has been able to do a great job of that so far. The goal of working toward a purely solar electric economy continues to stay at the center of all of Tesla’s plans, whether it’s in the production of the upcoming models, the updating of current vehicles, or even the building out of infrastructure to support these vehicles, such as supercharger stations and the production of solar power.

Tesla seems to be following another objective it set in the 2006 Master Plan document of building “a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars.” And if the Model X, Model 3, and Model S are an indication of the type of impact Tesla’s upcoming models will have on the car industry and the car driving habits of most people, there will be a lot more to look forward to in 2020, when this latest fleet of Tesla models starts passing by on the road or parking next to you in your neighborhood.

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