SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla started to take orders for its Model X electric sport utility vehicle on Tuesday. The starting price? $80,000.
That cost can quickly ramp up thanks to extras like self-driving capabilities, more powerful batteries, or what founder and CEO Elon Musk called “ludicrous speed.”
The Model X SUV comes in three models and is not expected to ship before the middle of next year. It will be the second electric vehicle that will be coming off the innovative car maker’s production lines. It will also be about two years behind schedule.
The X has a surprisingly rounded and tapered profile for an SUV compared to the more massive frames and rectangular lines of its competitors. It’s full of gadgets, too: The wing doors can be opened from a distance, with sensors adjusting the angle to avoid other cars parked close by, and there is a special “biodefense” air filtration button.
More than 20,000 reservations have reportedly been placed for Tesla’s SUV since it was unveiled in September at the company’s plant in the Northern California city of Fremont.
Tesla loyalists, a list that includes Google co-founder Sergey Brin, have been able to get their hands on more expensive limited edition Founders and Signature versions of the Model X, according to Tesla.
The electric car maker hopes to expand its customer base – and become profitable – by expanding its lineup. Tesla has yet to turn a profit, despite having won over stock market investors and public opinion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015