After Project Highland, Tesla Readies Project Juniper to Revamp the Model Y

Tesla will have a completely revamped range in the next two years as the EV maker prepares to overhaul its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. The revamped Model Y is reportedly in development under the Project Juniper name, with production planned for later next year.
Tesla readies Project Juniper to revamp the Model Y 6 photos
Photo: Tesla | Edited
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Tesla is currently working on many projects in what appears to be one of its busiest periods. Besides getting the Cybertruck into production and developing its next-generation automotive platform, Tesla is also busy improving existing models. The Hardware 4 Autopilot computer was an important upgrade for the refreshed Tesla models like the Model S and Model X, but there is more in the pipeline.

Although arguably less exciting than its new models, the current lineup deserves just as much attention. This has been made clear by the rumored Project Highland, which many think it's about the updated Model 3, while others say it's about a new manufacturing revolution. Camouflaged Tesla Model 3 prototypes have been buzzing around Tesla's R&D centers for some time now, showing minor design changes here and there. They are still covered in heavy cladding, making us wonder what they had to hide.

This is something we'll soon find out, considering that the updated Model 3 is expected to launch by the end of the year. Tesla has already made the necessary changes at the Fremont factory and in China at Giga Shanghai. These are the only factories producing the Model 3, so everything adds up. Nevertheless, new reports indicate that Tesla has more up its sleeve, and we'll soon see new cars covered in black claddings.

According to Reuters, Tesla is working on a revamped Model Y under the Project Juniper code name. The information comes from "three people with knowledge of the plan," who told Reuters that the refreshed cars would benefit from notable exterior and cabin changes. With the refreshed Model Y coming to market next year, Tesla will have overhauled its entire lineup, addressing a major criticism from customers in China and the U.S.

The Model Y is Tesla's best-selling vehicle, topping the charts in California, China, and Europe in 2022. It's also the youngest in Tesla's lineup, with deliveries starting in 2020, three years after the Model 3. The Model Y may look unchanged, but the electric crossover has already benefitted from extensive modifications underneath the surface. It is unclear how deep the changes would go with Project Juniper, but we expect Tesla to focus more on the design inside and out this time.

The Model 3 has not yet been transitioned to using megacastings and structural battery packs to streamline production and boost efficiency. On the other hand, the Model Y already features the latest optimizations, so we're not expecting big changes in this department. Tesla might improve the battery chemistry thanks to the dry battery electrode (DBE) manufacturing process and other advances in battery tech, but that should trickle to all cars nonetheless. Small optimizations are also expected, but nothing to make people turn their heads.

This is why the revamped Model Y would most likely feature design changes enough to be considered a new model. Another focus is on production efficiency, as Tesla is already in talks with suppliers for modified interior and exterior components. According to Reuters, the refreshed Model Y is projected to start production in October 2024, one year after the new Model 3.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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