Tesla Model Y Standard Range inspires exodus of aspiring legacy EV buyers in China

Tesla has launched the entry-level, single-motor RWD Model Y Standard Range in China to much fanfare among the country’s electric vehicle enthusiasts. So strong was the vehicle’s impact in China’s electric vehicle market that some social media groups dedicated to EVs from legacy autos are now shifting their orders to the base Model Y. 

As mentioned by Chinese motoring group 42How, a popular group of aspiring Ford Mustang Mach-E owners on Weibo wasted no time renaming their group to the Model Y Standard Range as soon as the new entry-level Tesla was announced yesterday. Amusingly enough, the group’s members, who were looking forward to the Mach-E, reportedly decided to switch their reservations to the Model Y Standard Range Plus. 

The launch of the Tesla Model Y Standard Range in China could eventually go down as one of the most important moments of the company’s operations in the country. China is the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, and it is also one that loves crossovers for the utility that they provide. This is why the Made-in-China Model 3, a vehicle that is successful in its own right, is not expected to be Tesla’s best-selling vehicle in the country. 

A good reason behind the strong reception to the Made-in-China Model Y Standard Range may lie in the vehicle’s affordable price, which starts at RMB291,840 before incentives. Considering that the Model Y Standard Range qualifies for a RMB15,840 purchase subsidy, the vehicle could effectively be purchased for just RMB276,000 (about $42,600). This effectively makes it attainable for local mainstream electric vehicle buyers. 

What is particularly impressive is that the Made-in-China Model Y has been performing very well in China even without its Standard Range variant. Despite its higher cost before, the vehicle was still popular, beating rival EVs from legacy automakers like Volkswagen and Toyota several times over. This gap is poised to widen in the coming months as deliveries of the base Model Y begin. 

Like Tesla’s other vehicles, the Model Y Standard Range is equipped with numerous standard features, such as basic Autopilot, Sentry Mode, TeslaCam, games, and media streaming support. The vehicle also includes Tesla’s full range of safety features, as well as a dedicated Bioweapon Defense Mode, which allows the Model Y to provide hospital-grade air in the cabin. 

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