Tesla has quietly updated its Model Y page to add a new option for buyers in the US: A rear-wheel drive Model Y that's cheaper than the other variants. It'll set buyers back $43,990, but with a full tax credit of $7,500, the electric vehicle could cost them as low as $36,490. As Electrek notes, this version replaces the Model Y All Wheel Drive that was recently discontinued. It's also $3,750 cheaper than the AWD, making it the most affordable Model Y EV.
Bloomberg says the vehicle likely uses lithium-iron phosphate batteries, which cost less to manufacture than high-nickel battery compositions. While it's possible that the batteries enable Tesla to sell this version at a lower price, Electrek believes they're also the reason why the EV has a 260 mile range, whereas the discontinued AWD Model Y had a range of 279 miles. That said, previous studies revealed that lithium-iron phosphate batteries are more efficient and have a much longer lifespan than nickel batteries.
The rear-wheel drive Model Y can reach 135 mph in speed and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. Tesla says it will start deliveries for the new EV this month and the next, though as always, customers will have to pay extra for Enhanced Autopilot ($6,000) and Full Self-Driving ($12,000). In its latest quarterly earnings report, the automaker admitted that its deliveries fell short of Wall Street's lowered expectations. It still expects to make 1.8 million deliveries for the year as a whole, however, and it remains to be seen if the new Model Y can help it achieve that goal.