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Musk launches Tesla Model X – bio-weapon defence button comes standard

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Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Elon Musk has today officially launched the Tesla Model X, the SUV successor to the highly successful Model S sedan.

“It’s important we move to a sustainable world sooner rather than later”, Musk noted whilst opening the presentation in a glittering event at the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.  “It’s also important to show that any type of car can go electric, we’ve done it with a sports car, the sedan, and now we’re doing it with the SUV”.

Every Model X carries a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors to enable advanced autopilot features.

Every Model X carries a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors to enable advanced autopilot features.The Model X will also be safest SUV in the market, achieving a 5 star rating in all categories, even surpassing 5 stars in some of those, with a calculated 6.5% of serious injury when in any serious accident according to Musk. The lack of an engine at the front of the car allows for a great crumple zone, protecting passengers from frontal intrusions in a head on collision.

The Model X also comes standard with the world’s first true “hepa air filter” in a car, as well as a bioweapon defence mode button which gives you “hospital grade air-quality”.

No, really. The biodefense mode button is available in the dash display, it pumps up the Model X’s HEPA air filter to maximum level, which Musk claims would be able to rid any toxins from biological weapons, making the SUV the new panic-room should any apocalyptic events occur.

The all-wheel drive Model X has a range of 400 km with a 90kWh battery. The P90D version – with ludicrous mode -accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 3.2 seconds. Not bad for a people mover that can tow over 2 tonnes.

The double-hinged falcon is a fantastically awesome-looking addition. The wing doors can open with only 30cm of space on either side of the car.

How? Tesla double-hinged the doors, and fitted each with an ultrasonic sensor and put a third on the roof. This means the doors will open knowing exactly how much room it has and will adjust accordingly.

Elon Musk demonstrates how the falcon wing doors can open in tight spaces.

Elon Musk demonstrates how the falcon wing doors can open in tight spaces.

The latest addition to the Tesla shares many features as the popular Model S, it’s good-looking and incredibly fast and all with no emissions. Tesla has made the people moving, soccer-mum driving, family car SUV desirable again.
The Model X will be priced in line with Model S, with standard models starting at under $100k, in the US. Deliveries in Australia will start later this year. Redflow’s Simon Hackett will take delivery of the first.

  

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  • MaxG

    Nice! Love the range… understand the price tag… just a tad over budget for me 🙁

  • suthnsun

    “It’s important we move to a sustainable world sooner rather than later” a somewhat inconsistent statement when producing a vehicle with extreme resource use and relevant to .1% or so of the market.

    • schaep

      bla bla bla, what else is new. Any new criticism?

    • Geoff James

      Well, you have to consider how the resources will be recycled (Tesla is in the battery business and does it properly), and how the early-entrant market will create cash flow to reach the mass market (and this is also their explicit plan). It’s a sensible strategy – give the bloke a break. Geoff.

      • suthnsun

        I do hope and expect the end of the process will be a high rate of recycling, I don’t think it is demonstrated yet. In the meantime embodied emissions for each Tesla car produced will take a very long time to be offset by oil displacement. Since AGW is the highest priority in my view, the release of this car is ‘somewhat inconsistent’ with his statement. I admire Elon Musk and am giving him the benefit of the doubt. Time is short and the duty of all is to chase an optimal solution set. The strategy will become very inconsistent if aggregate net oil displacement does not occur with 10 years.

        • Bob_Wallace

          What’s your solution for personal transport if it’s not EVs?

          Please don’t reply walking, biking or public transportation. A large portion of the population will not give up their personal cars. Tell what we can get them into that’s better than an EV.

          • suthnsun

            I have a PHEV Bob, it has embodied emissions of around 5t and I can charge with ultra low emissions at home and at work hence the payback due to oil displacement is quite short compared to the vehicle it replaces. So that is a big improvement and satisfies my current attributed personal emissions target of 250kg pa. I am not sure whether that will satisfy long term sustainability objectives. I suspect any of the current Teslas could not satisfy my current objectives and will almost certainly not be sustainable in the future. Electrification of transport is essential in my view and Tesla’s strategy to ‘trickle down’ to mass market after transfer of wealth and learning curve advantages, may well be valid in practice, considering all the socio/politico/economic factors. It is also possible that ‘greenwash’ is a better description (in hindsight) for this process if the massive capitalization of Tesla is never leveraged into a demonstrably emissions reducing and ultimately sustainable model of ubiquitous personal transport. I suspect that alternative models of social organization coupled with refined electrification of urban transport and mid density development will be a more far reaching and general solution. Time will tell, we need to be alert and proactive in assessing, adjusting and experimenting with well thought out and comprehensively implemented strategies. Disparate , uncoordinated market force responses are unlikely to deliver the goods.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I tend to lump EVs and PHEVs together. PHEVs are likely an interim step in getting us to full EV use.

            That said, do you think PHEVs have a significantly lower embedded emission number than EVs? A source?

            Why do you think Tesla EVs will not be sustainable in the future but a PHEV would be?

            “I suspect that alternative models of social organization coupled with refined electrification of urban transport and mid density development will be a more far reaching and general solution.”

            Sure. But that does not solve today’s problem. We need to get people out of oil-fueled cars. Almost no people are going to abandon their nice house in the ‘burbs and move into a city apartment in order to save the world.

            I can see a future in which we are picked up at our doors by a self-driving electric pod and driven to the rapid rail system (where we have a guaranteed seat with wifi) that will take us to another pod which will deliver us to our workplace in town. But that’s off in the future. We need to cut oil use right now.

            You are free to be skeptical about what Tesla has repeatedly stated their long term goals to be, but what I’m seeing is that they are following their plan.

            Tesla has built the luxury EV that enabled them to get into automobile manufacturing. They are now building the very large battery plant they need to move to the next step of their plan. Without much cheaper batteries there is no way to market a longer range EV for under $40k.

            If Tesla never intended to manufacture low priced EVs I see no gain in them saying so. They could have just said that they were a luxury car manufacturer and been just as successful as they have been.

          • suthnsun

            Battery chemistry gives varied results and life cycle assessment is circuitous and difficult to come by. The basic Li ion with solvents assessment yields 160kg per kWh which becomes very onerous to correct when 85kWh is employed. This does not include battery management and thermal management, which are substantial users of highly refined (emissions intensive) components. Then Aluminium construction adds another loading since it is 7 times weight for weight compared to steel. So Tesla model S may be currently around 5 times the embodied emissions of a 10kWh PHEV. Couple thus with stated well to wheels fuel assessment of 84 g/ km based on 500g/kWh of sourced energy and I conclude that it is going to be near impossible for the Tesla S to approach the full life cycle emissions of the PHEV, even given extreme driving use and optimal energy sources. In my circumstances and the vast majority of typical driving, it would be a very poor choice to buy a Tesla S. To make it worse as it currently stands, the major contraint is supply of EV grade batteries.( PHEV production is highly constrained by this) In an ideal world, the optimal strategy would be to build 8 PHEVs for every Tesla and only build the EV range when embodied emissions are demonstrably allowing it.
            So the price of the EV is not really the determining factor for sustainability, as it stands with current embodied energies any EV with greater than say 40 kWh , no matter the price, can’t provide a net benefit wrt AGW.

          • Alastair Leith

            If it’s all about the batteries why did Tesla go for Lithium Ion not a Lithium Iron variant which even when they started had clear technological advantages? Why go to the trouble of designing and building your own car models but outsource the battery technology to Panasonic?

    • Coley

      What’s your beef? You dont own a VW do you;)

    • Miles Harding

      Good point. The inconvenient truth of resource limits attacks the very heart of the consumer economy and elicits incredulous and angry responses.

      In the likely future that is not as we have been promised, the 2030 Model-X may look a lot more like a bicycle than space capsule.

  • Jacob

    It actually has sonar that penetrates metal!

    • Ronald Brakels

      Oh yeah, there are boat sonars you can get that are placed inside the boat and they work through the hull. (But I don’t know if the Tesla’s sonar works that way.)