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It’s Started: Tesla Is Exporting A More Affordable China-Built Model Y To Canada

Tesla is a North American success story and every one of the automaker’s sedans and SUVs sold in the U.S. or Canada has been built on that continent, but that’s about to change. The company is poised to ship thousands of cut-price Model Ys to Canada from its factory in China.

Last weekend Tesla announced that a new entry-level version of its Model Y would soon be available in Canada for CA$10k ($7,380) less than the current base car, the CA$69,990 Long Range. The cars are built at Tesla’s Shanghai plant, which is famous for its cost efficiency, though that’s not the only reason the cars cost less than the U.S.-built Model Ys. The new CA$59,990 base model is rear-wheel drive, and the next most expensive version has all-wheel drive and a different battery.

The Chinese-built Y features a lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery that gives an EPA-rated driving range of 245 miles (394 km), whereas the entry-level U.S. Model Y with rear-wheel drive has a more powerful battery and can travel 279 miles (449 km) before needing a fill, according to the EPA. The Shanghai-built Teslas are normally produced for the local market and also for Europe, but they never reached North America, at least until now.

Related: Tesla Slashes Prices For The 6th Time This Year, Model 3 Drops Under $40,000

 It’s Started: Tesla Is Exporting A More Affordable China-Built Model Y To Canada

Gigafactory Shanghai produces both the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV

Canada’s electric vehicle incentive program requires a base model of an SUV to be available for under CA$60,000 to qualify for up to $5,000 of subsidies. But introducing a sub-CA$60k Y not only qualifies the new base model for the subsidy but also unlocks availability for other versions priced below C$70,000.

Reuters, which broke the story, posted an article late last year suggesting that Tesla was considering exporting Chinese-built vehicles to North America, to which CEO Elon Musk responded by tweeting “False.”

Would you care if the Tesla you were considering buying was made in China, or is getting a good deal your top priority? Leave a comment and let us know.

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