The Model X sport utility vehicle from Tesla is finally going to hit the road, as the five-door SUV will see a limited release to company board members and some of their closest friends.
The Model X is the second vehicle from Tesla. The first was the Model S sedan. The performance of the Model X will be crucial to Tesla, as it hopes to expand its manufacturing and increase its public appeal.
Tesla promises that its vehicles have zero emissions and are fully electric.
The pressure will be on Tesla CEO Elon Musk to quickly bring up the production of the vehicle in order to meet targeted sales. The company expects a large portion of its sales this year to take place in the fourth quarter.
Executive market analyst Jack Nerad said, “We’ll see if Tesla can supply enough Model X’s fast enough to satisfy the waiting list.”
Tesla’s Model X will face competition from other automotive manufacturers in the luxury SUV category. Most of these competitors are from Germany companies, and include the Audi Q7, the BMW X5 and the Porsche Cayenne. The German automotive industry is under heavy fire as the German car company Volkswagen is dealing with a massive emissions scandal that has affected more than 11 million of its diesel vehicles. German car companies would love to beat Tesla in the constantly growing electric-car market.
However, this might be seen as positive for the clean-driving Tesla, as the industry as a whole is trying hard to regain public trust. Tesla just might be the best company for that role, as the public could backlash toward German vehicles after the Volkswagen incident.
But German car manufacturers are not giving up the fight.
Chief of staff to a German Chancellor Peter Altmaier said, “I know Elon Musk, I met him last year, he’s an impressive guy, and his Tesla car is an impressive car. I would be very pleased if the German carmakers would be able to produce an e-car that’s better and cheaper than Elon Musk’s car.”
However, skeptics are common in the industry right now. Regulators in Europe and the United States are thoroughly examining the emissions of vehicles in order to find any other cheaters.
Analyst Brian A. Johnson said, “The question on a lot of minds is: Are any other automakers cheating on emissions, or ‘optimizing’ for the best emissions results?”
The Model X was first shown to the public in February of 2012. Production was initially planned for 2013, but it was delayed until this year. The vehicle is finally seeing a limited release called the “Founders Series”. The limited edition Model X SUVs will be handed over at an event in Fremont, CA, the location of the Tesla factory.
Tesla will soon release the “Signature Series”, which is another limited edition of the Model X. Customers are putting down deposits of $40,000 to reserve the SUV.
The Model X is all-wheel drive, and it can either seat six or seven passengers at a time depending upon options that are chosen. However customers are concerned if sports equipment such as bikes and skis will be able to easily fit into the vehicle.
The SUV features “falcon wing” doors that open up vertically. It also includes a 90 kilowatt-hour battery that can reportedly travel for 250 miles on a full charge. The Model X will cost about $5,000 more than the Model S sedan due to its larger size. The Model S starts at $75,000.
Tesla plans to deliver somewhere between 50,000 and 55,000 vehicles this year. This includes both the Model S and the Model X. Tesla delivered almost 22,000 vehicles in the first half of this year.
With all of the commotion in the automotive industry over the honesty of car manufacturers, Tesla might really be able to change the game with its message of “Zero emissions. Zero compromises.”