7 Tips On How To Be More Productive from Elon Musk

Elon Musk gets a lot done.

The 46-year-old entrepreneur and CEO is revolutionizing the spaceflight industry with SpaceX, transforming the world of the electric car at Tesla, and pushing neuroscience and transportation forward at Neuralink and the Boring Company.

As SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell said at the 2018 TED Conference, Musk’s goals are a lot to keep up with.

“When Elon says something, you have to pause and not blurt out ‘Well, that’s impossible,'” she said. “You zip it, you think about it, and you find ways to get it done.”

Recently, Musk reportedly announced to Tesla employees that he wants to adopt a 24/7 shift schedule to get production for Tesla’s Model 3 electric car on track. In an email obtained by Jalopnik, Musk explained a number of changes in the works for Tesla.

He’s asking for quite a lot, so at the end of that email, he offered employees a list of his own productivity recommendations. From those tips, it’s clear that Musk is clearly not a fan of meetings, bureaucracy, hierarchy, or any system that impedes immediate communication. He prefers people apply common sense to the task at hand.

He also told employees that if they had any ideas for making work at Tesla better and more efficient, they should let him know.

Here are the seven productivity tips Musk offered in the letter, in his own words.

1. Large-format meetings waste people’s time.

“Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get [rid] of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.”

2. Meetings should be infrequent unless a matter is urgent.

“Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.”

3. If you don’t need to be in a meeting, leave.

“Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”

4. Avoid confusing jargon.

“Don’t use acronyms or nonsense words for objects, software, or processes at Tesla. In general, anything that requires an explanation inhibits communication. We don’t want people to have to memorize a glossary just to function at Tesla.”

5. Don’t let hierarchical structures make things less efficient.

“Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the ‘chain of command’. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.”

6. If you need to get in touch with someone, do so directly.

“A major source of issues is poor communication between depts. The way to solve this is allow free flow of information between all levels. If, in order to get something done between depts, an individual contributor has to talk to their manager, who talks to a director, who talks to a VP, who talks to another VP, who talks to a director, who talks to a manager, who talks to someone doing the actual work, then super dumb things will happen. It must be ok for people to talk directly and just make the right thing happen.”

7. Don’t waste time following silly rules.

“In general, always pick common sense as your guide. If following a ‘company rule’ is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change.”

 

 

 

Written By: Kevin Loria
Source: Business Insider

How Elon Musk Started – Infographic

Elon Musk is now Earth’s most future-oriented person. How did such a person come to be?

how-elon-musk-started-infographic

Source: Funders and Founders

Elon Musk Ahead of Pace for $1.6 Billion Tesla Motors Payday

Provided by MSN 
Elon Musk is ahead of schedule to get a huge payday from Tesla Motors Inc. even though he earns less than $40,000 in annual salary.
In 2012, the electric carmaker awarded its billionaire founder 5.27 million options tied to milestones including developing new vehicles and ramping up production. While he was given until 2022 to meet the goals, he has already achieved 50 percent of them, according to a proxy statement issued April 15. That means he may get $1.6 billion well before then.

Under the 2012 stock plan, Musk earns 1/10th of the options every time Tesla hits a pair of goals — one tied to its market value and another to the company’s operations. While he’s achieved seven targets tied to the growth of Tesla’s market capitalization, he’s only hit five of 10 operational ones.

That’s been good enough for him to receive half of the options so far. With a strike price of $31.17, those 2.64 million options would be worth $589 million if he had exercised them at Friday’s close. The total option award is intended to compensate Musk, who has never accepted his salary, for 10 years.

For Musk to receive the $1.6 billion, he needs to boost Tesla’s value another 28 percent, to $43.2 billion. He also has to maintain a 30 percent gross profit margin for four quarters, bring the car-maker’s aggregate production to 300,000 vehicles and bring the Model 3 to market.

Provided by Bloomberg

In April, six analysts set 12-month price targets of $325 or more for Tesla, the price at which Tesla’s market value would exceed the maximum target.

“Many of the requisite milestones were viewed as very difficult to achieve” when they were granted in 2012, Tesla said in the filing last week.

Khobi Brooklyn, a Tesla spokeswoman, said the company considers the April 15 filing its official comment.

Musk has faced some hurdles recently. Last week, Tesla recalled 2,700 Model X sport utility vehicles to repair third row seats, after the SUV was late coming to market. Sales missed expectations because of parts shortages, the company said in an April 4 press release. In November, Tesla recalled 90,000 Model S sedans to check seat belts.

None of that has hurt the stock price. Tesla was up 23 percent in the 12 months through April 18.

Written by Caleb Melby and Alicia Ritcey of Bloomberg

(Source: Bloomberg)

In Transport Wars, it’s Hyperloop vs Hyperloop

The Hyperloop is becoming a modern day gold rush, with 2 technology companies battling to capitalize on the transportation mode’s promise of interstate travel at breakneck speed.

The innovation, with its science fiction-like description, is the brainchild of entrepreneur and Tesla Motors (TSLA)founder Elon Musk. The technology looks to challenge existing transportation methods by offering cheaper, faster and safer travel through a low-pressure system that move pods just under sonic levels, at about 760 mph. As the the idea gradually moves from concept to reality, a number of startups aim to plant their flags in the emerging sector.

“We are the first ones that took the Elon Musk project in 2013 and transformed it into something real,” Bibop Gresta, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) COO told CNBC in a recent interview. “We are the only company who are actually building a real full-scale Hyperloop.”

Yet a company with a similar name, Hyperloop technologies, is also jumping into the fray. The company has raised $100 million in funding to track test Hyperloop technology in Nevada, and is also trying to stake a claim on the emerging technology.

Recently, Gresta’s company announced the construction of a Hyperloop prototype in Quay Valley, California, which is halfway between L.A. and San Francisco. The company also signed a deal with Slovakia, a hub for technology development in Europe, which HTT expects will be a beneficial catalyst for Hyperloop’s expansion quest.

Gresta told CNBC that the difference between Hyperloop Technologies and HTT is that his company researched its scheme aside 520 scientist from 42 countries before building a “full-scale” Hyperloop. He contends that Hyperloop Technologies has taken a different approach, and that employees of Space X and NASA are working actively with HTT.

“There’s an old model where you raise a bunch of money and then you have to spend it as fast as you can to demonstrate to your investor that you’re doing something,” he told CNBC, before adding that the corporation is “very happy to create an industry together because it means that the concept is valid.”

Separately, Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop Technologies told CNBC that his company is “clearly leading” the development of the Hyperloop concept, as itsboard members have been leaders in major companies before the startup. Hyperloop Technologies is looking to reap nearly $10 million in various incentives from the state of Nevada for its rail, which will carry passengers at 600 miles per hour.

“Our company is leading; we are not the only company, I don’t expect us to be the only company, but we are the company that’s leading.” Lloyd said in a recent interview. He added that positions in Hyperloop Technology are in high demand, with 130 full-time employees and hundreds of applicants per open positions.

Lloyd is a tech veteran, having worked for Cisco Systems (CSCO) for more than 20 years before joining Hyperloop Tech. Co-founder Shervin Pishevar, who is also managing director of Sherpa Ventures, a venture capital firm that’s invested in startups such as AirBnB, Uber and Munchery, co-leads the tech start-up.

Regardless, the idea of rapid transportation is gathering momentum, and may get a boost from the federal government. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said recently that Hyperloop tech could be eligible for funding via the University Transportation Centers program, which doles out more than $70 million per year.

Lloyd said that the difference between his company and others is that Hyperloop Tech focuses on both freight and people. Gresta also mentioned the idea of transported goods in a recent interview.

“The movement of freight is something that has tremendous impact on reducing traffic, moving to a more sustainable electric only and even shipping containers,” Lloyd said. “Our company believes this will be truly transformational.”

Written by Denise Garcia of CNBC

(Source: MSN)

The Hyperloop is About to Be Built — But Not in California

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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

The Hyperloop could easily become the next big thing after bullet trains. It’s a tube-based transportation system, in which pressurized passenger pods are accelerated through reduced-pressure tubes, which enables them to develop speeds as high as 760 miles per hour.

One of the Hyperloop design’s advantages is that the system is self-sufficient because of solar panels placed along the track that produce enough energy to run it. It is also earthquake-resistant, thanks to the use of pylons that carry the weight of the construction and provide the stability.

The project was first proposed by Elon Musk, the entrepreneur and co-founder of Tesla Motors Inc. . The system was touted to be a lower-cost alternative to a high-speed-train service between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

If you follow my column, you have probably noticed that I’ve closely followed the Hyperloop development since June 2015. At that time there were many unknown factors about the project, both bureaucratic and technical, that needed to be taken into account. While resolving technical issues was just a matter of time, crossing the red-tape sea in the U.S. forced one of the companies competing to make the Hyperloop a reality — Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, or HTT — to consider building their futuristic transportation pod in Slovakia, at the center of Europe.

Just a few weeks ago, HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn announced that his company has reached an agreement with the Slovakian government. Their plan is to establish the Hyperloop transportation route from Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia, and from Bratislava to Budapest, Hungary.

It normally takes about eight hours to travel from Košice, Slovakia, to Vienna to Budapest. But it’s only 43 minutes with the Hyperloop.

“Slovakia is a technological leader in the automotive, material science and energy industries, many of the areas that are integral to the Hyperloop system,” Ahlborn said in a press release. “With our project in Quay Valley, this agreement with Slovakia, and future developments with other regions of the world, HTT truly has become a global movement.”

The company’s suggestion has been met with enthusiasm from Slovak Republic officials:

“Hyperloop in Europe would cut distances substantially and network cities in unprecedented ways. A transportation system of this kind would redefine the concept of commuting and boost cross-border cooperation in Europe,” said Vazil Hudak, Slovakia’s economic minister, said in a statement. “The expansion of Hyperloop will lead to an increased demand for the creation of new innovation hubs, in Slovakia and all over Europe.”

However, before we can look forward to backpacking across Central Europe and getting back home by dinner, significant financial hurdles need to be overcome, more specifically the cost, which is somewhere between $200 million and $300 million. If everything goes according to plan, the project should be finished by 2020, Wired reports.

In an interview with Vice, HTT Chief Operating Officer Bibop G. Gresta said the initial feasibility study showed that the Hyperloop pod could transport up to 10 million people a year. The biggest challenges, he said, are politics and regulation.

Do you think the Hyperloop will be embraced as a new modern transportation system? If not, why not? Please let me know in the comment section below.

Written by Jurica Dujmovic of MarketWatch

(Source: MarketWatch)

Hey Musk, Bezos — My Spaceship is Better: Branson

Provided by CNBC

The modern day space race doesn’t pit country against country. It’s a game of thrones of sorts among three billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson.

Under the guise of “we compete in a friendly way,” Branson engaged in a little trash-talk at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Our spaceship comes back and lands on wheels. Theirs don’t,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview that aired Friday. “Because ours is shaped like an airplane, we hope to do point-to-point air travel one day. Theirs is not.”

To be fair, he said that Musk, founder of SpaceX, and Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, would probably give reasons why theirs are better than Branson’s Virgin Galactic effort.

Branson, who said he’s friends with Musk but does not know Bezos well, stressed that competition is good. “You need competition. And the public will benefit from the three of us getting out there and competing.”

Besides space, Branson’s Virgin conglomerate runs branded businesses worldwide in industries including mobile phones, airlines, financial services, music, as well as health and wellness.

Musk, also a serial entrepreneur, is the founder and chief of electric automaker Tesla (TSLA). He’s also chairman of energy company, SolarCity (SCTY). Bezos is founder and chief of Amazon (AMZN) and the owner of The Washington Post.

During his CNBC interview, Branson also addressed the most pressing concern for financial markets: the depressed price of oil that’s seen somewhat of a bounce recently.

He said he sees oil prices likely staying low for a long time, but he believes that’s a good thing for the global economy.

“There’s no need to try to make up a recession [case],” he said. “This is going to be the greatest boost to the economy you could imagine. And everyone is going to have money in their pockets to spend,” because of cheaper gasoline prices.

Depressed oil, which also translates into lower jet fuel prices, has been a boon to the airline industry and passengers.

When the oil hedges that many carriers engage in to lock-in steady costs come off, “they can afford to reduce fares,” Branson said. “And that will stimulate demand on planes. And they can also afford to make some decent profits.”

“I remember $149 a barrel,” he recalled, with U.S. and global crude around $31 per barrel early Friday. “If you can’t make money today, you can’t make money ever in the airline industry.”

Reflecting on what some market watchers consider a bubble in so-called privately held unicorns, Branson said: “There’s always something of a bubble in the Valley,” referring to Silicon Valley. Unicorn companies are start-ups with market values exceeding $1 billion.

There are many good pre-initial public offering (IPO) companies, Branson acknowledged, but he warned that others are going to “fall flat on their face.”

Written by Mattheew J. Belvedere of CNBC

(Source: CNBC)

Musk’s SpaceX Finds Crowd for $3.5 Billion NASA Contract

Photographer: Chris Thompson/SpaceX via Bloomber
Photographer: Chris Thompson/SpaceX via Bloomber

(Bloomberg) — Less than a decade after its first rocket launch, Elon Musk’s SpaceX finds itself in an unfamiliar position.

The upstart venture is the incumbent vying to win the bulk of a $3.5 billion U.S. contract renewal while facing rivals that include Boeing Co., whose spaceflight roots date to the 1950s. At stake: a seven-year agreement to haul supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.

SpaceX is pushing the only made-in-the-USA entry in a four- way derby with Boeing, Orbital ATK Inc. and Sierra Nevada Corp., each of which relies to some extent on rockets with Russian engines. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will award the work as soon as Thursday as it juggles support for commercial missions while Congress clamors to end U.S. dependence on the imported motors.

“This bodes well for SpaceX because they’re the only company I can see that’s completely independent of Russia,” said Marco Caceres, director for space studies at consultant Teal Group.

Launch Competitor

NASA split the initial $3.6 billion cargo-flight contract between SpaceX and Orbital in 2008, two years after Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. sent its first rocket aloft. The win helped establish SpaceX as a competitor to United Launch Alliance, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin Corp. rocket venture whose work includes military missions.

“If NASA wants to maintain or expand the work done on the space station, they need supplies, people and a way to support all the research work up there,” said Mark Sirangelo, who leads Sierra Nevada’s Space Systems business.

SpaceX and Orbital each have a setback on their commercial- cargo records. An October 2014 explosion just after liftoff destroyed an Orbital Antares rocket laden with space station cargo. In June, a SpaceX Falcon 9 blew up en route to the orbiting lab.

‘Urgent Need’

The station’s reliance on Russian and Japanese spacecraft while the U.S. craft have been grounded highlights the “immediate and urgent need for appropriate oversight and corrective action,” Republican Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and David Vitter of Louisiana said in a Sept. 1 letter urging the Government Accountability Office to review NASA’s contracted launch services and capsules.

Increased political scrutiny may provide an incentive to NASA to add more contractors to provide “back-up options” and avoid protests by losing bidders, said Nick Taborek, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.

Unless NASA can gain additional funding from Congress, bringing in new entrants would probably mean less money for the current cargo haulers. “There’s certainly a good chance the pool of bidders will be expanding, which means less revenue for Orbital and SpaceX,” Taborek said by phone.

Expanding the pool of contractors is critical, Sierra Nevada’s Sirangelo said, because Japan is preparing to wind down its cargo missions to the station after European ended its flights. NASA would “have to do more flights, or add more participants or choose a vehicle like ours that would take more cargo up,” he said.

Cargo Capsules

Boeing’s entrant is a reusable cargo version of the Starliner capsule being developed for manned NASA orbital missions later this decade. It would be carried by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. “NASA can take advantage of all the work and taxpayer dollars spent for the Commercial Crew program and re-use it for cargo,” Boeing spokeswoman Kelly Kaplan said by e-mail.

Sierra Nevada proposes a freighter variant of its Dream Chaser, a reusable orbiter that looks like a miniature cousin of the space shuttle and is designed to land on airport runways. It would have folding wings to ride inside the launch fairing atop an Atlas V or a rocket from Europe’s Arianespace SA.

SpaceX and Orbital declined to discuss their cargo proposals. NASA had no comment this week about details of the next commercial-resupply contract.

Caceres, the space consultant, isn’t convinced that adding more contractors will solve NASA’s reliability qualms because the Atlas V is powered by Russian-made RD-180 engines — a focal point of congressional debate over import limits.

Russian Engines

“I don’t know that three companies is better than two, if two out of the three are reliant on the same vehicle,” Caceres said. Like Boeing and Sierra Nevada, Orbital also depends on Russian engines. It used them in the Antares rocket that blew up, plans to deploy a different Russian model on a new Antares, and will put its Cygnus capsule on an Atlas V next month to resume space-station flights.

The initial supply contract proved a boon for SpaceX, which was founded in 2002 by Musk — a PayPal Inc. co-founder — a year before he created his signature automaker, Tesla Motors Inc. SpaceX has completed six missions under the NASA award to Orbital’s two, and also plans to restart commercial flights in December.

Gauging the full effect of NASA’s privatization of cargo trips may take years, because follow-on offerings like space tourism aren’t quite ready yet, said Micah Walter-Range, director of research and analysis with the Space Foundation.

“It has been good to keep a lot of that money in the country rather than sending it off to Russia,” Walter-Range said. Without NASA’s resupply program, “that is what we would be doing.”

Written by Julie Johnsson of Bloomberg

(Source: Bloomberg)

Tesla’s Elon Musk Just Trolled Apple in a Big Way

Heisenberg Media
Heisenberg Media

Apple may be the most profitable company in the world, but not even that distinction is enough for it to escape the contempt of Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.

In an interview with German newspaper Handlesblatt, Musk was disdainful of Apple’s reported efforts to build an electric car, to hit the market by 2019. When the interviewer asked whether Musk was worried about the fact that Apple had hired some of Tesla’s “most important engineers,” Musk shot back: “Important engineers? They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the ‘Tesla Graveyard.’ If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I’m not kidding.”

When asked whether he takes the competition seriously, Musk twisted the knife, saying:

Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch? (laughs) No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car. But for Apple, the car is the next logical thing to finally offer a significant innovation. A new pencil or a bigger iPad alone were not relevant enough.

Written by Chris Matthews of Fortune

(Source: Time)

The Tesla Model X has a Bioweapon Mode

© Provided by IBT US
© Provided by IBT US

The Tesla Model X was fully revealed by Elon Musk on Tuesday with the entrepreneur disclosing for the first time that a button on the dashboard would allow you to protect yourself from airborne bacteria, viruses and pollution.

During the presentation at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, Musk said that customers would be presented with a button — represented by the international symbol for biological hazard — on the dashboard, which would allow them to activate medical grade air filters.

According to Tesla, the medical grade HEPA filter will “strip outside air of pollen, bacteria, viruses and pollution before circulating it into the cabin.” Besides modes to circulate outside air or re-circulate inside air, a third “bioweapon defense mode” will create positive pressure inside the cabin to protect occupants. Musk said the filter will give customers “hospital level air quality” and would get rid of toxins and biological weapons as well. The HEPA filters are up to 10 times the size of filters found in other cars.

On Tuesday, more than a year after his initial deadline, Musk handed over the first Model X luxury electric SUVs to customers. The car is significantly more expensive than the original Model S, with prices starting from $132,000. One of the most talked about features of the new Model X are the “falcon wing” rear doors that mimic the iconic doors of the DeLorean, immortalized in the “Back to the Future” movies. Tesla said that due to their double-hinged design, they can open in as little as 12 inches of space, thanks to ultrasonic sensors, and take around six seconds to open fully.

The futuristic looking Tesla Model X features 360-degree sonar, forward-facing cameras and the iconic falcon wing rear doors.  Tesla

Indeed the Model X is crammed fully with technology, including forward-looking cameras, radar and a 360-degree sonar, which will enable the company to roll out its semi-autonomous technology called AutoPilot that will bring automatic steering, accelerating and braking on motorways as well as a self-park feature — but only in countries that have updated their road laws to allow it.

The Model X promises a top speed of 155 mph and will go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. In terms of range, the 90 kWh battery pack will allow 250 miles on a single charge.

“Consumers have been buying SUVs in droves over the last couple years, yet there are very few electric vehicles in SUV form,” said Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “The Model X aims to fill that need, all with a brand that consumers seem to aspire to.”

Written by David Gilbert of International Business Times

(Source: International Business Times)

Tesla’s Musk to Deliver First Model X SUVs Tonight

© David Mcnew
© David Mcnew

Tesla Motors Inc., the smallest publicly held U.S. automaker, hands over the first of its Model X sport utility vehicles Tuesday evening amid growing scrutiny of Volkswagen AG, one of the world’s biggest car companies, after the admission that it cheated on emissions tests.

Hybrid and electric cars have struggled to gain traction with mainstream consumers amid lower gasoline prices. But Tesla — which promotes its Model S with the line “Zero Emissions. Zero Compromises.” — may see a bounce from the growing “dieselgate” scandal that has engulfed VW and cast a shadow on the German auto industry.

The all-electric Model X, the second car in Tesla’s lineup after the Model S sedan, is crucial to the Palo Alto, California-based company’s efforts to both scale its manufacturing and broaden its appeal. After years of delays, the question now is if Tesla, run by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, can ramp up production of the X fast enough to meet its lowered sales target for 2015. Much of Tesla’s sales are back- weighted to the fourth quarter, raising the stakes for a smooth — and steep — production increase.

“We’ll see if Tesla can supply enough Model Xs fast enough to satisfy the waiting list,” Jack Nerad, executive market analyst at KBB.com, said in an e-mail.

German Challenge

The Model X will compete for customers with premium luxury SUVs that are largely made by German automakers, including the Audi Q7, the BMW X5 and the Porsche Cayenne. While it is only certain diesel models made by Volkswagen that are under investigation in the emissions-cheating scandal, Peter Altmaier, chief of staff to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, challenged the nation’s carmakers to prove that their country remains a leader in the auto industry by beating Tesla in the nascent electric-car market.

“I know Elon Musk, I met him last year, he’s an impressive guy and his Tesla car is an impressive car,” Altmaier said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Berlin. “I would be very pleased if the German carmakers would be able to produce an e- car that’s better and cheaper than Elon Musk’s car.”

Germany has been a tough market for Tesla to crack, in part because the big German automakers — BMW, Mercedes-Benz and VW – – compete mightily with each other for market share.

Though VW is the focus of investigations, regulators in Europe and the U.S. are increasingly looking at the emissions of other automakers’ vehicles, with focus on discrepancies between lab tests and on-road results.

“The question on a lot of minds is: Are any other automakers cheating on emissions, or ‘optimizing’ for the best emissions results?” said Brian A. Johnson, an analyst with Barclays, in an interview Monday. “Do European consumers go on strike against diesel?”

Three Years

Musk unveiled the Model X in February 2012 at a splashy Los Angeles event featuring California Governor Jerry Brown, with production planned for 2013. Three and a half years later, the first Xs — a limited-edition Founders Series that typically goes to board members and close friends of the company — will be handed over Sept. 29 at a high-profile evening event in Fremont, California, where Tesla has its factory.

Tesla has yet to release detailed specs on the car, but some information and images have been widely circulated online by customers who put down $40,000 deposits to reserve the Signature Series, the limited edition vehicle that comes after the Founders version.

The all-wheel-drive X seats either six or seven passengers. In recent days, images of a six-seat Model X — with two second- row seats instead of three — have appeared in the online configurator. Interior volume is a big issue for potential Model X customers, who want to know if they can fit bikes, skis and other recreational equipment easily into the vehicle. The third- row seats fold flat, according to Tesla’s website.

The car has what it calls “falcon wing” doors that open vertically and a 90 kilowatt-hour battery that is projected to have a range of roughly 250 miles (402 kilometers) per charge. Musk tweeted that with the same options, the Model X will cost $5,000 more than the S due to its greater size. The S starts at $75,000. Tesla designed its first sport utility vehicle in part to appeal to female drivers, as women buy more than half of the small SUVs in the U.S., according to J.D. Power & Associates.

Seeking Growth

Tesla aims to deliver 50,000 to 55,000 vehicles this year, compared with a previous target of 55,000 — partly owing to production snags with the Model X’s complex middle-row seats. Tesla delivered 21,577 vehicles in the first half of the year, which means it must deliver 28,423 vehicles in the second half to meet the lower end of its guidance.

“The VW scandal highlights that the auto industry is under a lot of pressure to comply with tightening emissions standards and fuel-economy laws, and with an internal combustion engine, it’s difficult to conform without realizing a corresponding trade-off in vehicle performance,” said Andrea James, an analyst with Dougherty & Co. “Electric vehicles, and hence Tesla, fall outside of this conundrum.”

Just a few days before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board revealed that VW had admitted to deceiving the emissions tests, VW announced at the Frankfurt auto show that it will roll out 20 new electric and plug-in hybrid models by 2020, including the Porsche Mission E and the Audi e-tron quattro.

“Given the investigation timeline, it is highly likely that VW knew about the coming controversy when it made the EV and plug-in hybrid announcement,” said Bloomberg New Energy Finance in a research note to clients Sept. 22. “The scandal could push VW more strongly towards electrification as it looks to improve its public image and meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards.”

Written by Dana Hull of Bloomberg

(Source: MSN)