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Tesla Gets $10 Million California Grant For Model X Development

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Tesla has reportedly been awarded a $10 million grant from the Californian government aimed at helping start development of its third model, the Model X electric SUV.

In being awarded the grant, Tesla has promised it will provide $50 million of its own money for the project, which will primarily be used for plant upgrades, purchase of new equipment and components, and the hiring of an additional 700 workers when the Model X starts production in 2014.

Most of the Californian regulators present at the announcement of the grant in Sacramento, on Wednesday, commended Tesla for its efforts, which has seen automotive manufacturing return to the state, clean vehicles put onto roads, and more than 1,500 jobs created so far, reports Forbes.

Tesla’s Model S sedan, with which the new Model X will share a platform, has proven a hit with reviewers and has thousands of outstanding orders. However, some production hurdles meant the company has had to revise its 2012 revenue projections downward from some $600 million to between $400 and $440 million.

Nevertheless, its CEO, Elon Musk, believes the company will be cashflow positive by the end of the year--perhaps even as early as next month.

The Model X also has thousands of orders lined up. Around 60 percent of its components will be shared with the Model S, though pricing is expected to be set slightly higher, coming in around $60,000-$90,000 (before tax credits) depending on the trim level chosen.

The standard version of the Model X crossover is expected to be able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. A planned performance model will be even quicker, though the Model X will only be available with the 60 kWh or 85 kWh battery packs, skipping the least-expensive 40 kWh battery pack sold in the Model S. The Model X will also be available in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations, the latter coming with two electric motor drive units.
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