Cheaper Model Y with 4680 battery on sale at Tesla stores
A cheaper base Model Y version with 4680 battery pack has been available to purchase at Tesla stores. It is still an AWD variant, but with a slightly shorter range than the cheapest Model Y Long Range that you can currently order on Tesla's website. It costs US$2,000 less than the Model Y LR, but also comes with a 279-mile range on a charge, rather than the standard Model Y Long Range 330 miles EPA estimate.
This version is inventoried with upgrades like 20-inch wheels which eat the price gap with the base Model Y available online, though. Moreover, you have to be willing to live with reduced range on a charge as the car comes with the cheaper to manufacture 4680 battery pack which means it is assembled in Tesla's Gigafactory in Austin, TX. The 4680 cells that Tesla currently uses have adjusted energy density similar to the regular 2170 batteries it's been using for a while, but Tesla is mum on the exact capacity of the pack that it puts in the 279-mile Model Y that has only been available to buy from its stores directly.
Furthermore, the 4680 battery comes in a cell-to-pack technology that makes individual cells impossible to repair or replace. Thus, not only would the truly base 2023 Model Y be languishing at Tesla's stores with 50 miles shorter range, but when time comes the whole power kit would have to be swapped at probably quite a significant cost and today's modest savings from this base Model Y version with limited availability are probably not worth it.
In Europe, the base RWD Model Y costs more than US$10,000 less than the next trim, but this hidden cheaper AWD version in the US doesn't sound all that enticing as it only offers a slightly lower price point but much shorter range.