• Oct 28, 2010
It's no secret that Tesla Motors is working on a new electric version of the Toyota RAV4 with the Japanese automaker, but what's this about a Tesla Model X? That's the name Tesla CEO Elon Musk used for an upcoming SUV model during the formal opening of the company's new factory. Musk told Green Tech Media that Tesla hopes to show a prototype of the SUV/CUV by the end of 2011. After that, of course, comes production the Model S, which is scheduled to start in mid-2012 with a volume of 7,000 in the first year and 20,000 a year after that. Musk said:
I'm hopeful we will unveil a prototype [of the SUV] toward the end of next year. When it will go into production is harder to predict because we want to make sure the Model S production line is really operating very well and smoothly before we introduce another variant. But certainly within two... in less than two years when we start Model S production, we will have the Model X.
We've known Musk likes big electrics since rumors of a Tesla SUV floated around a few years ago, when Musk said he believed a big electric vehicle could really drive sales. There's a shaky video of Musk talking about the Model X after the jump.

[Source: Green Tech Media]



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  • 57 Comments
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Looks like a new plan is in order for me. Lease Model S for 3 years...then upgrade to Model X. Love it !

      Signing my contract tomorrow with Solar City (also started with Musk $) for home solar. Should be installed in a few months. I'm definitely ready for my Tesla !!!
      • 19 Hours Ago
      So much for the >$30K Bluestar coming in any time soon, I'm guessing.

      But from a business perspective, that may be smarter, since by the time they'd developed it all the mainstream manufacturers that know how to build mass production cars efficiently would likely have eaten their pie.

      I still don't have to like it, though.
      • 19 Hours Ago
      ...That said, if trucks and SUVs are the biggest contributors to pollution and climate change and they remain popular, it makes sense that producing an electric version would do more good than targeting a niche ultra-efficiency market.

      Pragmatically, getting 10 mpg SUV owners into an 80 mpgE SUEV is a lot better than getting 30 mpg mid-size car owners into a 100 mpgE EV sedan.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        True. You make a greater impact by improving the worst emitting vehicles.
      Noz
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Tesla should have focused on the mass model car FIRST....not afterwards. All high end auto manufacturers cannot compete in mass markets because they simply do not have the cash flow to do so.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Noz
        "I'm not seeing any here in Finland where they make them."

        They've only been on sale in Finland for a little more than a month, so it's no surprise you haven't seen any on the roads.

        http://green.autoblog.com/2010/09/13/think-kicks-off-sales-of-city-electric-vehicle-in-finland/

        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Noz
        I suppose that it's possible that 1000+ Think City EVs are still sitting on dealer's lots, waiting to be sold and registered - I apologize for not having the sales info you request.

        At any rate, that Think has BUILT 2500+ Think City EVs would indicate that they are fairly confident in the demand for them, and that it's reasonable to assume that they will be sold.

        Even if it's at a loss - even if they sell for only $1 each! - that would be similar to the fact that Tesla took a loss on their initial Roadster (before jacking the price to reflect true costs), and that other manufacturers likewise occasionally sell their hybrids or BEVs (in the case of Nissan) at a loss in order to gain market share and visibility. I'm not complaining; indeed, I accept that selling autos at a loss is sometimes good business.

        Likewise, that Think is constructing more production facilities also gives credence to the assertion that Think City EVs will indeed be sold in mass volumes. I'm at a loss to understand why you are trying to minimize Think's role in bringing mass-produced highway capable BEVs to the marketplace - are you one of those Hydrogen/FCV-shills? (LOL)

        Think should be credited for the accomplishments they have made. And they've made a heckuvalot of BEVs.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Noz
        How many of those 2500 has been sold? I'm not seeing any here in Finland where they make them.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Noz
        Noz, that "mass market cheap first" approach is what "Think" is trying to do. They started well before Tesla, and even had Ford leasing a few back before 2000, but they've been struggling financially and only recently managed to sell a few.

        Tesla on the other hand has sold nearly 1,500 Roadsters, selling more EVs than Think has, and has made more profit on them. By going high end, they get high profit margins and pay off development costs much more quickly, and they will be in a better position financially and with better production facilities when they finally do go "downmarket" and make a mass produced inexpensive EV.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Noz
        Tesla's strategy was to sell an overpriced car first, then use the profits to develop a mass market car. When that didn't work, they found a company with deep pockets.

        While most EV makers are pandering to environmentalists, Tesla deserves credit for having enough sense to go after the mass market. I hope the Model X is available by the time the lease on my Leaf expires.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Noz
        Do you know how many of those has been sold here? I bet number can be counted with one hand fingers. Those things cost here more than fleet of Priuses. It costs more than Leaf or Volt. For a city car that is way too much. Valmet made a bad bad deal to start building those.

        I was actually asking how many of those are sold in full. That kind of car wont sell much, if at all, unless the price is very very low, like in low four figures instead of five, and Think City is not that cheap. It is a glorified electric moped. A golf cart. Bad handling, uncomfortable, slow as snail and costs like three times as much as much better small ICE car like Mazda 2. Bankruptcy is imminent unless they get the car done right.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Noz
        Chris M

        "Tesla on the other hand has sold nearly 1,500 Roadsters, selling more EVs than Think has..."

        Think has done better than you, ahem, thought.

        "The 2,500th City electric vehicle has rolled off the production line in Valmet, Finland making the car, in Think CEO Barry Engle's words, "the best-selling electric car in the world today."

        http://green.autoblog.com/2010/10/11/think-builds-2-500th-think-city-in-europe-u-s-operations-are-a/
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Noz
        @vin

        How can you say it "didn't work"??

        The plan for Tesla Motors since Elon first started.... was to have a $100 pure performance car.... then a Luxury Sports car (in the same class as a BMW 5 series) @ $50k... then a mainstream vehicle at $30k or below.

        So far, they are still on track with that.


        @Noz

        It requires FAR MORE capital investment to make 100,000 "mass market" cars, than to make 1,000 high priced, and hand built cars.

        SO MANY "Startup" car companies have tried to enter the market at the bottom... and they were all crushed under the mass production power of the big automakers.

        Tesla has the right idea... it may not be the fastest way to become the next big player, but they have a better shot at it. 10 years ago, nobody knew the name Tesla. Unless they were talking about Nikola.
      Level4
      • 19 Hours Ago
      lol the Irony here lol
      • 4 Years Ago
      SUVs (Stupid Ugly Vehicles) = way too much mass, and aerodynamics that suck.
      Sounds like the ideal basis for an energy starved electric vehicle.

      SUVs = #1 reason our emissions are so high, CO2 is so high, we import so much oil, and some think causes global warming or cooling.

      Gotta get away from this box thinking.

      Sorry to hear Tesla is going down the same road as GoMo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Tesla's Sports Utility X?

      Tesla SUX?
        • 19 Hours Ago
        LOL! I was thinking they ought to come up with a better name, and now I know why! Besides, I don't think they want to remind anybody of the "Zap-X" vaporware fiasco, even if it didn't involve Tesla at all.

        Well, they do have several years to come up with a better name for it. Any ideas?
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Tesla continues to be chaotic & crazy. I'm not surprised. So silly.

      If someone wants to build an electric SUV it should be GM . . . put the Volt drivetrain in an SUV. That would work.
      • 19 Hours Ago
      Good Luck, but looking at Elon's past schedules it might be closer to 2020
        • 19 Hours Ago
        I don't know why it always surprises me when people forget we had this huge financial collapse two years ago that put the brakes on just about every single business in the world. And almost caused the collapse of at least 2 of the "Big Three" automakers in the US. And people are whining about 2 year delays??

        The only thing that is shocking is that so many EV's were able to survive. Just a 2 year delay through this economic collapse is simply amazing. If you would have asked me in October of 2008 if we were still going to see ANY new BEV vehicles at all before 2015, I'd have laughed in your face.

        So soon people forget.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @letstakeawalk
        No solid launch date was announced back then (press release doesn't mention it) and it wasn't unveiled, so you can't really say it is a delay. Remember they only truly announced/unveiled the Model S and begun the deposit process on March 26, 2009 with a promised production start date of Q3 2011.

        Just like how the Roadster was announced/unveiled in July 19, 2006 with a promised production date of mid-2007, and hit series production in March 17, 2008. That's slightly under 2 years from unveiling to production, and that's with delays from the transmission (pushing back production date about a year).

        2020 is a huge exaggeration if you follow the same standard. Even if you figure in a full year delay from promise during unveiling, that's Q3 or Q4 of 2012.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @LTAW

        I agree, for a startup auto company, there seems to be two types:

        A company that makes every deadline on time... but the quality sucks because so many corners were cut.

        A company that does not sacrifice their craftsmanship standards to meet timetables.

        If Tesla builds the Model S to a high standard... most people will quickly forget that it was late to market.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        The Model S was supposed to be in production by 2010... and now, production isn't scheduled until 2012. Of course, the Model S - or Whitestar - went through an entire redesign from PHEV to BEV, so it's fair to say the first couple years of its development were ultimately pointless.

        http://thearticlewriter.com/autowriter/electric-tesla-whitestar-is-california-bound/

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/15/technology/15tesla.html?_r=1

        Nobody ever said that starting a new company from the ground up was easy. I'm not worried about timeframes, I'm interested in quality product.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        "...so you can't really say it is a delay."

        And that's why I gave them a little credit, saying those first few years didn't really count.

        "Of course, the Model S - or Whitestar - went through an entire redesign from PHEV to BEV, so it's fair to say the first couple years of its development were ultimately pointless."

        The second Whitestar/Model S is nothing at all like the first one, so you might as well consider them two different vehicles. The first one was announced and plans were made, and people anticipated sale dates, but ultimately the first Whitestar was a miscarriage of engineering.

        Musk made it very clear that he started over with a totally clean slate for the second attempt at Whitestar.

        "Tesla executives said they decided not to use Mr. Fisker’s design and were starting over on the design for White Star when they discovered that Mr. Fisker was going into competition with them. The design switch caused a three- to six-month delay* in production of the car, which is now scheduled to go on sale in 2010, the company said. Tesla is building a factory in New Mexico to manufacture the sedan."

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/15/technology/15tesla.html

        *Oh, I see, it was TESLA that said there was a delay...
        • 19 Hours Ago
        That was a Poor exaggeration.

        So far Tesla Motors has not been more than 2 years behind schedule for either the Roadster or the Model S.... So 2016 at the latest... not 2020.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Good choice. There is no way Tesla can compete with Nissan on a low priced model.
      • 19 Hours Ago
      I want a great Sedan! Yeah, Tesla, you will shame GM right out of their convoluted idea of what a EV is.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        @Middle Way

        "The Electric Hummer" really doesn't sound like the name of a vehicle...
        • 19 Hours Ago
        GM no longer owns the Hummer brand.
        • 19 Hours Ago
        I bet they'll beat GM to making an electric Hummer at this rate.
        Oh, the humanity.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Well, it's like they sold out in a way. The roadster is all about efficiency and i admired them for that. The Model S equally so. But now they're going to bring us....

      The Watt Guzzler."


      Hmmm, let's see: Lots of money sent over seas to fill anti-american pockets, or lots of money kept in the USA to fill Electric Company millionaire/billionaire pockets. I think I'll go with the pockets that aren't going to blow up a couple of New York buildings with passenger airliners.
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