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Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X front view. Photo by Don McCullough from Santa Rosa, CA, USA. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Tesla Model X front view. Photo by Don McCullough from Santa Rosa, CA, USA. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

By GET Staff

The latest news we are getting from the West Coast is that the Tesla Model X is on schedule for release in September. In fact, the word is that factory tours have been put on hold while finishing touches are done before production actually begins.

Over 20,000 of the cars have been reserved. The cost of reservations is $5,000, so we can be certain that the people who have made reservations are serious. Given the car’s features, this should be no surprise. The Model X is a crossover car, combining features of station wagons with SUVs. This makes it a somewhat heavier vehicle than the Model S, which has been so successfully marketed in the past couple of years. Its batteries will be the same as those of the Model S, so we might assume that the car’s range will be similar.

It will seat seven adults, so it is a fairly large passenger carrier, but it accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds, making it a very peppy large passenger carrier. Its styling is also worth notice, with gull-wing doors that open upward, but offer plenty of room to get in and out.

Even with the advance sales, however, Tesla is offering incentives for current owners of their Model S to persuade others to buy the Model X. Each sale, up to a maximum of ten, gets the person referring new customers $1000. The referral program is in place in some countries aside from the US, including Australia.

Initial expectations on the Model X were that it would be released in late 2013 or 2014. While the production delays have added to Tesla’s reputation of being slower than they had hoped, the current word is that the Model X is slightly ahead of the most recently established schedule.

The factory in which the Model X is to be built is in Fremont, California. It is remarkable for the numbers of robotic machines it has on the assembly lines. Some of the robots are very large, designed to lift cars onto and off of the assembly lines. These machines have names taken from the Marvel Comics X-Men superheros, including Wolverine, Iceman, and Thunderbird. It seems Elon Musk may be a fan.

While there will be three or four times as many robots on the Model X assembly line as there were on the one for the Model S, there are still a number of people who will work on production. Recent reports spoke of busloads of employees being taken to the plant for training.

Tesla’s Fremont car factory is said to be the second largest building in the world, based on its footprint. The Gigafactory, in which the Powerwall batteries will be manufactured, is a separate factory at a different location. It is reported to be ahead of schedule.

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