California Pumps $10 Million Into Tesla for SUV
Luxury electric car maker Tesla is getting a bit of government help to bring its next vehicle to market.
The California Energy Commission on Wednesday approved a $10 million grant that Tesla is to use to expand manufacturing capacity for its forthcoming Model X SUV. Under the terms of the company’s agreement with the commission, Tesla will match the grant with $50 million of its own money and use the entire sum to keep Model X production rates high when it finally hits manufacturing in 2014. That will involve the hiring of 700 additional workers when the time comes — hopefully enough to avoid the slower-than-expected ramp-up that troubled the Model S sedan. And if all goes as planned, Tesla will take another step toward its goal of producing a truly mainstream electric vehicle. Not that the X is that car. Tesla says it will fall in the same price range as the Model S, which runs $50,000 to $70,000.
“Too often we’re portrayed in the press as only producing an electric sports car,” Mike Taylor, Tesla’s VP of finance, said today, according to Forbes. “I think that misses the point of what Tesla Motors is trying to do and why it’s important for California. Our mission has always been to aggressively promote electric vehicles for the masses.”