Tesla delays the Model X until late 2014

Article by Christian A., on March 15, 2013

The production of the Tesla Model X electric crossover was set to start this year but there has been a significant delay and the car is likely not to start to be built until late 2014. Initially, Tesla had pledged that the Model X will make its debut in late 2013. “Volume” production will start by 2014 but it seems that the Tesla plant won’t begin to produce the crossover until the end of next year.

Tesla Model X, a three-row crossover with “Falcon Wing” doors that open upwardly, is based on its Model S all-electric sedan. It was initially expected to start selling in limited numbers by the end of this year and was supposed to start major production by 2014.

The website still says that deliveries will start in 2014. Tesla has been quiet about putting off the Model X’s introduction by around a year.

Under Tesla’s latest SEC filing, it was divulged that Tesla will be repaying government loans early. It also confirmed that production of the Model X will begin in late 2014 and that it aims to reach an annual production rate of about 10,000-15,000 cars.

This means that the car likely won’t get to more than five customers until early 2015. In a previous report, the company said that it will have a total production capacity of 20,000 units in 2013.

Tesla also cautioned in its filing that as the Model X’s development still has to be completed, it will take some time for production to start. Since the Model X design has yet to be finalized, it won’t be able to maximize its use of the adaptable Model S platform. It also said that it hasn’t yet assessed or chosen all of its suppliers for the planned production of Model X.

The all-electric Tesla Model X was designed to be the road's safest car. Tesla's very own crash tests have indicated that the Model X will obtain a 5-star safety rating for all categories. It will be the first SUV to achieve that.

Model X does not need a large gasoline engine under its hood, so it has a large crumple zone that is going to absorb the force of any high-speed impact if it happens. Moreover, having its battery on the floor gives the car a very low center of gravity, thus lessening any risk of a rollover, which is a quite common occurrence in most SUVs. It also features aluminum pillars that are reinforced using steel rails, protecting occupants as well as the battery while also improving roof stiffness.

Moreover, Model X comes with automatic emergency braking as well as side collision avoidance, enabling it to avoid accidents. And Tesla makes the only AEB system that functions at high speed.

Every Model X unit also sports a forward-looking camera, 360-degree sonar sensors, and a radar, enabling its advanced autopilot features. Furthermore, the carmaker's over-the-air software updates improve these features' sophistication and thus enable increasingly capable convenience and safety features, such as Autosteer and Autopark, as well as bring the Model X closer to being able to operate autonomously.

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