Existing Tesla RWD Model Y Owners Can Pay to Unlock Extra Range
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Existing Tesla RWD Model Y Owners Can Pay to Unlock Extra Range

Tesla Model Y with extra range charging at a home wall charger
  • The cost to unlock the extra range in your Tesla RWD Model Y will be between $1,500 and $2,000. 
  • Only some RWD Model Y vehicles will have the unlock option available. 
  • Unlocking the extra range on existing RWD Model Ys will give them the same 320-mile range as the newest RWD Model Y EVs. 

Drivers who purchased the RWD Tesla Model Model Y can pay to add up to 60 more miles to its range. The “pay-to-unlock” range feature appears to be a response to Tesla’s slow first quarter. The automaker is adding the unlock option as a new RWD Model Y with a 320-mile range hits the streets.


Responding to First-Quarter Slow Down

When asked about the new option to add range to models already on the road, Elon Musk bluntly said, “We have to pay the bills somehow.” Before Model Y drivers can add more range to their vehicles, Musk mentioned that Tesla must work through battery longevity and safety regulatory hurdles to unlock the additional range.

Adding the extra range will cost drivers between $1,500 and $2,000. Adding the extra range will bring the current RWD Model Y range in line with the new models. Existing RWD models have a range of about 260 miles, while the new versions have about 320 miles of range on a single charge.

Which Tesla RWD Model Y?

Musk reported that the pay-to-unlock option can only be added to RWD Model Y vehicles built over the past several months. After drivers pay the additional fee, Tesla will open the precautionary locks on the battery, adding between 40-60 miles of range. With Musk’s comments, it’s expected that the base Model Y launched in October 2023 will be the only vehicle with the pay-to-unlock range option. These vehicles have the same nickel battery, weight, and charging curves as the Long Range Model Y but were sold with less range.

The Long Range Model Y and RWD Model Y seem to have similar charging systems. While most EVs slow down when they reach a charge of 80%, the RWD Model Y continues to charge quickly at 99%. Is the battery pack on the RWD Model Y set to only charge to 80% of the range of the Long Range version? This could be the reason that Tesla can unlock more range.

Is the Pay-to-Unlock Option Worth It?

As all EVs are less efficient on the highway, the extra 40 miles of highway driving will require about six more minutes at the charger for about 30 more minutes of driving time at 70 mph. 

Adding an extra 24 minutes of time might be worthwhile for drivers who use their EVs for road trips and rely on Superchargers.

However, for those who use their EVs around town and charge mostly at home, the extra $1,500-$2,000 might not be worth the price.



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