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New mystery Tesla Model Y appears on EPA website

There’s a new Tesla Model Y on the way … apparently.

Tesla hasn’t officially announced it yet, but Inside EVs first reported on an unknown configuration of the compact crossover that has appeared on the EPA’s FuelEconomy.gov website.

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The Model Y AWD is listed with the same powertrain and nearly identical efficiency rating as the currently available Model Y Long Range AWD, but with a driving range of 279 miles instead of 330 miles per charge.

The Model Y is currently offered in all-wheel-drive versions with long range batteries.

Tesla has two new battery technologies in the works for the Model Y, so the listing likely indicates one of them will be launching soon.

The first represents a switch from the U.S. market Model Y’s 2710 format cylindrical cells to the LFP prismatic cells the standard range rear-wheel-drive Model Y uses in China.

The LFP cells are understood to be cheaper to produce than the cylindrical batteries, which can provide a higher energy density but also contain cobalt which has a politically problematic supply chain.

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Word on Tesla street is that Model Y’s with LFP batteries sourced from China will soon be manufactured at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory while some Model Y’s that will soon enter production at the company’s new Austin, Tex., plant will feature something entirely different.

The 4860 cell uses a larger format than the current 2710 cell in the Model Y.

It’s a larger format cylindrical cell called the 4860 that also serves as a structural member of the pack, which aims to reduce the weight and parts content of the vehicle.

The 4860 has been heralded as a next generation technology that will provide longer ranges and faster charging times for Tesla’s vehicles, however, so it will possibly first appear in a long range version of the Model Y.

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More information on the mysterious model should be coming soon as Tesla is aiming to begin deliveries of Texas-made Model Ys on April. 7.

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