2020 Tesla Model Y gets a better city efficiency rating than Model 3

Tesla last month boasted that its Model Y electric crossover received a range boost before it was even released—to 315 miles.

That number is official with results posted by the EPA yesterday. The Model Y Dual Motor also doesn’t disappoint relative to the already-great efficiency numbers for Tesla’s other vehicles. It earns an efficiency rating of 121 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent), which equates to about 28 kwh per 100 miles—or, the way most electric vehicle drivers would like to think about it, nearly 3.6 miles per kwh.

Tesla Model Y

Tesla Model Y

With the range already out, there are two noteworthy pieces of small but significant news that the EPA results point to. Firstly, the Model Y Dual Motor earns the same combined efficiency number as the Model 3 Dual Motor. And it gets a better EPA city efficiency rating than the equivalent—at an official 129 MPGe for the Model Y, and 124 MPGe for the Model 3. 

On the highway, where the Model Y’s tall profile introduces more aerodynamic drag, it’s not surprising that the Model 3 does better. That of course affects the difference in range between the two models (the Model 3 Dual Motor still does better, at 322 miles). 

The second piece of information these ratings confirm is that these differences might be at least partly due to a different rear motor used in the Model Y. The EPA site lists the front motor for the Model Y as being the same 147 kw as the Model 3, but in back the Model Y is listed as having a 211-kw motor instead of the Model 3’s 188-kw unit.

2020 Tesla Model Y Dual Motor and 2020 Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor: motor differences

Those numbers, unless they’re coincidental, might suggest that the Model Y Dual Motor uses the rear motor from rear-wheel-drive Model 3 versions—yes, the motor used in the most efficient electric car on the market

To compare performance, Tesla says that the Model Y Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds; that’s a slight bit slower than the Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor’s 4.4 seconds. Top speed is 145 mph for the Model 3, versus 135 for the Model Y.

Tesla currently releases no power-output numbers for its motors in the Model Y on its site. We’ve reached out to the company for clarification, but with first deliveries due by the end of March, it might not be long before we get a deeper download. 

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