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People look at a Tesla Model Y SUV at a Tesla showroom in Beijing on Jan. 5, 2021.WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Inc launched a cheaper variant of the Model Y, bringing its sports utility vehicle’s price closer to that of its Model 3 sedan, the electric-car maker’s least expensive car.

The new standard range Model Y is priced at $41,990, only $4,000 more than the entry level Model 3, according to the company’s website.

Shares of the carmaker, which have surged more than 700 per cent in 2020, were up nearly 5 per cent at $853.89 in trading before the bell on Friday.

Tesla’s stratospheric rally has helped Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk surpass Amazon.com Inc’s top boss Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

Shares in the company jumped nearly 8 per cent to end Thursday’s session at $816.04, putting its market capitalization at $774 billion and making it Wall Street’s fifth-most-valuable company, just behind Google-parent Alphabet Inc and ahead of social media giant Facebook Inc.

Tesla’s new Model Y variants come days after the carmaker beat Wall Street targets for 2020 vehicle deliveries, driven by a steady rise in electric vehicle adoption, but narrowly missed its ambitious full-year target of half a million deliveries.

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