Spy Shots: Tesla Model Y sightings uncovered in Europe
It appears that a few Tesla Model Y vehicles from the US have (somehow) already reached Europe. According to Electrek, "A Tesla Model Y has been registered in Sweden, a year ahead of the launch of the electric SUV in Europe." Who imported it? Apparently in an attempt to reverse engineer the Model Y, Volvo decided to import the all-electric newcomer from Tesla.
Twitter: Hans Noordsij
However, this isn't the first time witnesses have spotted the Model Y in Europe. It turns out that Model Y has already been spied in both Germany and the Netherlands as well. My friend Hans Noordsij took a brilliant photo of one of them at the Dordrecht Supercharger in the province of North Holland.
Previously it was thought that Model Y wouldn't be seen in Europe before 2021. Not so. Perhaps, Europe is getting a few early vehicles as Gigafactory Berlin is expected to be completed next year and the first product that Tesla will manufacture at this facility will be the Model Y European version.
Twitter: Hans Noordsij
In any event, the ones in Germany and the Netherlands which have been spotted in photos and the video footage below are North American versions — likely imported either by individuals or businesses for testing and rental purposes.
Some European Model Y enthusiasts thought that this was the same car seen in Germany but it doesn't appear to have the same license plate — an owner from Germany posted his red Model Y photos on Twitter as well.
Twitter: Roland Schuren
Yet another Tesla Model Y appeared in a video from Germany’s rental car company NextMove.de — but again it had a different license plate than the one in the above photos. The color: red. It seems like Europeans have a crush on red Model Ys. Interestingly, the Model Ys seen in the photos here and the following video have the ‘jbcarconcept.de’ website noted on the license plates.
According to Hans, the green Dutch license plate on the first Model Y above is a ‘temporary plate for testing’ — the possibility of a German Model Y being tested in the Netherlands with a testing plate shouldn’t be ruled out.
According to sources, this Tesla Model Y from Germany is currently available for rental. However, the terms and conditions are pretty strict based on the vehicle’s extreme rarity in Europe — the terms say if the vehicle is damaged during the rental period, the driver will have to purchase the vehicle irrespective of who’s fault it was... ouch!
In addition, Hans also noted that according to his information, the charge port on this Model Y was the US Type-2 and not CCS. It turns out an adapter was used to charge the electric vehicle.
Above: Example of a Tesla Supercharger that's been retrofitted with CCS plug in Europe (Source: InsideEVs)
At the time of the Model 3 launch in the region, the automaker retrofitted European Supercharger stations with the CCS connectors and shipped Model 3 cars with the CCS charge port to Europe to enable the Model 3 cars with third party charging options in addition to the Tesla Supercharging.
Netherlands is home to Tesla's HQ Europe. So we wouldn't be surprised if Tesla brings a test fleet of Model Ys before starting production at Gigafactory Berlin.