The Truth About Cars » tesla model x The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:01:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » tesla model x Tesla Loses $49.8 Million In Q1 2014, Panasonic On Board With Gigafactory Thu, 08 May 2014 15:30:24 +0000 tesla-model-x

Although Tesla reported a profit of $17 million on $713 million in revenue, their financials were reported using non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) figures. Which means that my current checking account, according to non-GAAP figures, is probably somewhere in the high seven figures.

Using GAAP numbers, Tesla lost nearly $49.8 million, on revenues of $620 million. Despite the loss, Tesla delivered 6,457 units, and expects to sell 35,000 Model S units this year. Tesla also announced that their Model X SUV will be delayed again, until 2015.

But the bad news was interrupted today by a major development for Tesla. Panasonic, a major supplier of battery cells to Tesla, signed a letter of intent regarding their new “Gigafactory” that will build lithium-ion batteries somewhere in the Southwestern United States.

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Elon Musk: Model X Will Be AWD Only and Priced “Slightly Higher” Than Model S Tue, 05 Nov 2013 12:00:52 +0000

Click here to view the embedded video.

At the opening of his company’s London store, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk had some comments about the company’s upcoming falcon-winged crossover, the Model X. He said that it will offered only in an all wheel drive configuration that features electric motors in both the front and back of the car, and that it’s starting price will be slightly more than that of the Model S, which starts at $60,000.

The Model X’s price will be very similar to the Model S. It might be slightly higher, but… I can’t imagine that it will be… It’s probably going to be a slightly higher starting price because the Model X will only be offered as all-wheel drive. It will be dual motor, all-wheel drive.

[The relevant remarks start at ~24:00 of the video]

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Tesla Using Customer Deposits To Finance Operations Fri, 23 Mar 2012 12:00:54 +0000

An article in the New York Times Dealbook blog claims that Tesla is using their customer deposits on upcoming models as a major source of cash to finance operations.

The article states that

“Tesla is increasingly using customer down payments to finance operations. Without the deposits, the company’s operations would have consumed $175 million of cash last year instead of $114 million…

But that money could dry up if the company experiences production delays or other bumps in the road. Then Tesla would be more reliant on a clean-energy loan from the government.”

Those loans, as we know from Fisker’s trials and tribulations, are rather fickle and are not a reliable source of incoming for a struggling “green” automaker. While customers generally put down about $5,000 to reserve a Model S, deposits for customized cars can run much higher (one interviewee in the article put down $40,000) – and customers may be unable to get back their money if Tesla tanks.

Tesla apparently does not put their customer deposits aside, and uses the money to finance their operations. If the company goes bust, customers will have to wait until other major creditors, like the federal government, get paid. Customers have yet to sign formal purchase agreements, though that will apparently be happening soon.

Washington state is so far the only location where Tesla uses segregated accounts to hold customers money. California, by far Tesla’s biggest market, does not require this. Tesla has collected about $61 million in deposits in 2011, up from $5 million in 2010. While Tesla’s enthusiastic customer base has no problem forking over cold, hard cash (significant sums, at that) to reserve one of the so-far unreleased models, the idea of it being largely unaccountable once received by Tesla seems a little disconcerting, especially in light of the volatile nature of the “green technology” business and Tesla’s track record for releasing new product.

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Tesla Debuts Latest Vaporware Dubbed “Model X”, With Impractical Gullwing Doors Fri, 10 Feb 2012 16:53:07 +0000

The Tesla Roadster is one of the most enjoyable vehicles I’ve ever driven – the problem is, Tesla hasn’t done anything since then, and is releasing new models before their long-awaited Model S sedan is even on sale.

The Model X is a crossover based on the aforementioned Model S. Unveiled at an event in Los Angeles, the Model X has a few quirks that make us question if Tesla is really going to move 15,000 of these vehicles  - assuming any get built in the first place. First up are the quirky gullwing rear doors, which are supposed to look cool and allow for easy loading of people and cargo. Here’s one problem; how the hell are they going to open in a place like an underground garage or parking lot with tight spaces? In a lot of urban areas, this is a real issue. I personally know someone who passed on an Mercedes SLS because the gullwing doors wouldn’t give him enough room to exit the car within the tight confines of his condo parking spot. Yes, a very #whitepersonproblem to have, but in the income segment Tesla is hoping to compete in, it’s a potential problem – looks like the garage in the Tesla promotional photo doesn’t have that issue though. The doors are apparently double-hinged and able to open without necessitating too much space, but I’d like to see them in person before any definitive judgement is made.

Tesla will let customers order a second motor mounted up front to give all-wheel drive capabilities, and buyers will have the option of different battery sizes, whether 60 or 85 kWh, which will give the vehicle different range capabilities. Look for range to be slightly less than a Model S, due to the 10 percent weight penalty, so between 200 to 270 miles depending on battery type and a whole host of other variables. The three-row crossover supposedly accelerates to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, but who really knows. One slightly cringe-worthy feature is the so-called “frunk”, a front trunk where the engine would go. That sounds like an unfortunately similar slang term that will surely be picked up on by more juvenile observers. Expect the Model X to come in higher than the $67,400 pricetag of the Model S – if either of them ever come to market.

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