On Wednesday, Tesla was approved for a $10 million grant from the California Energy Commission, which will be used to buy components for the electric Model X SUV, and further expansion of the manufacturing capacity for its Fremont factory. For its part in this, Tesla will have to pony up $50 million to match the grant. The Model X SUV was unveiled back in February, when it amassed over $40 million in sales.
Tesla is being hailed as an innovator responsible for creating 1,500 jobs in California, and for creating green zero-emission cars. Said Ryan McCarthy of the California Air Resources Board, “Tesla has the unique distinction of being the only automaker to actually ask us to increase our targets under zero emission rules.” He went on to state that the Gen 3 from Tesla could end up being a groundbreaking vehicle in the world of electric vehicles, referring to another electric car in the works.
Tesla stated that the $10 million grant will be used in part to hiring of 700 more workers in 2014, when production for the Model X starts. The company’s vice president added that while Tesla is most commonly portrayed as “producing an electric sports car,” its actual goal is simply the aggressive promotion of electric automobiles. California commissioner Carla Peterman said that the addition of the Model X SUV, which is the crossover version of the Model X sedan, will increase eventual mass adoption of electric vehicles.
The Model X SUV is fully electric, and is the third prototype that has been revealed in recent times. As you can see from its picture, this SUV has the signature “Falcon Wings” doors, which open upwards instead of outward. It has two trunks instead of one, due to the lack of a large combustion engine, providing ample storage room when compared to standard SUVs. The Model X has all-wheel drive, and can achieve a 0-60 speed in 4.4 seconds.