60 Comments

Summary:

We took GigaOM TV’s Green Overdrive show down Tesla’s sneak preview of its Model X, electric SUV/minivan launch, and got this first hands-on video with the car and an interview with Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. Check it out:

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Tesla unveiled its third electric car the Model X, an electric SUV/minivan hybrid, during a sneak preview at its design studio in Hawthorne, California on Thursday. We took GigaOM TV’s Green Overdrive show down to the event and got this first hands-on video with the car and an interview with Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. Check it out:

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  1. how does this woman get to interview elon musk at the model x unveiling and she knows nothing about cars?

    1. When you are a cute 5.11 blonde – subject matter expertise and asking relevant questions is optional. Being cute get you the interview I suppose. Heck – I’d let her interview me about pretty much anything.

    2. Perhaps because she’s the target market?

    3. Seriously. Amazed at his patience with some of the questions.

    4. Katie Fehrenbacher brad Thursday, February 9, 2012

      @brad, I write about cleantech and startups and business. GigaOM is a site where we write about entrepreneurs like Elon Musk. Yes, I’m not an auto reporter.

      1. Katie,

        Don’t listen to these clowns. That was a good interview. Same types of questions you would expect from Motortrend or Car&Driver

    5. Brad, it’s you who clearly knows nothing about the car business. Tesla is not selling the Model X to engineers. It wants to sell to families, so Katie’s questions about the roominess of the car, its safety and pricing are questions that consumers will ask. And her questions about how Tesla plans to market it — a van with a cool design and extra functions — are what any good business reporter should ask.

  2. Don’t most people who own minivans and SUVs put stuff on the roof: bikes, skis, kayaks, etc? Seems like the falcon wing doors make a roof rack an impossibility.

    1. Yes they do. I had the same thought, however if they offer a trailer hitch (do they?), then you could get away with a hitch mounted bike / ski rack. In addition, while the multiple sun roofs look cool, 90% of the time you want those windows covered so they kiddos don’t get sun burned.

      Elon’s description of the 4wd system sounds like an electric version of the Subaru has had for years. (good)

      When you look at 7 passenger cars, there are very few options. If people will drop $57k for a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, I’m sure they will sell plenty of these.

    2. I prefer the tailgate system. It is no fun lifting bikes, ski’s, kayaks and other things onto a roof. Also, it appears more people have hitches.

      1. As a kayak owner I’m genuinely interested in this: how do you put a kayak on any type of rack mounted to a hitch? Mine is 10.5 feet and I don’t see it happening.

  3. She looks so un-interested talking to Elon Musk (founder of a successful electric car company and space company), I would be jumping out of my seat! She doesn’t looked engaged at all about this amazing car that has never been made before.

    1. Katie Fehrenbacher george Friday, February 10, 2012

      dude, I’m not Tesla PR, I’m a reporter

      1. And a damn fine one at that!

    2. Simmer down, George. If you jump out of your seat while talking to Elon Musk, then you’ll look like an idiot or someone who needs to go to the bathroom stat!

  4. poor girl is all sweating… @6:17

    1. Katie Fehrenbacher M! Thursday, February 9, 2012

      It was hot yo.

  5. What happens when the door is opened while its raining outside?

    1. Heather Marie Below Smith Sid Saturday, February 11, 2012

      it is raining outsinde and the door is open

    2. Unlike a normal car door it won’t get wet inside the car (much unless it’s windy…) and you can stand under the door in shelter…

  6. Reblogged this on Matt Thomas and commented:
    Tesla continues to impress (other than their ability to host a webcast, anyway).

  7. Yes, she is not excited. And I am glad my docter does not jump out of his seat either. It’s a job.

  8. How tall are the doors when they open? Can the doors open in a parking garage?

    1. A pic on Tesla’s site shows them just fitting under a standard residential garage’s roll up door, so parking garage ceiling better be at least 7 feet.

  9. She is a horrible interviewer.

    1. How about we have you over for an interview ? Wanna try your hand at it?

      1. That’s really not a sensible response is it?

        It isn’t that she did not know everything about the product or technology, it is that during the interview she seemed uninterested and bored.

        That is important.

        She wasn’t terrible, but maybe instead of being defensive something can be learned from the negative responses to the interview.

  10. What about when it’s raining? Wouldn’t water be more likely to touch the interior?

  11. So cool. The Tesla X looks pretty revolutionary. Thanks for covering the launch! :)

  12. Thank you for the info, it was very informative and helpful to see the Model X up close. It is now officially added to my wish list! @Niall- I own both a Mini Van and and SUV, we are a family of 5 + a Rottie, and I would take inside storage any day over putting things of the roof. In this car I can fit luggage, stroller, and still have room for dog in the back. Love the doors, since that is a part I worried about when my kids opened the SUV’s doors. Overall, this would be a great family car, can’t wait to see it in person!

  13. Sweaty armpits, horrible interview

  14. Wow really cool vehicle- Thumbs up on the coverage!

  15. Great interview!

  16. Considering this was a “hands on video” with the car they sure spent 75% of the video sitting around talking. Show us the car, I couldn’t care less about two people staring at each other for ~5 minutes.

  17. Nevermind the misogyny bleeding from the seams. I see a competent and balanced interview by a non-auto-jouno. You guys watch too much Fox News to know what reporting is supposed to look like.

    Why would anyone think having a giant door-umbrella would let in more rain than having… nothing?

  18. Nevermind the misogyny bleeding from the seams. I see a competent and balanced interview by a non-auto-jouno. You people watch too much Fox News to remember what reporting is supposed to look like.

    Why would anyone think that having a giant door-umbrella over you would let in more rain than having… nothing?

  19. Nice watch Mr. Musk

  20. I’m curious about the comment that this would make a perfect Tahoe car. Sure, from the traction side of things it sounds perfect. But what about range? Driving through a snow storm in the middle of winter, sitting in traffic over the pass, heater blasting on full strength … I sure hope the battery doesn’t die, otherwise I’d be stuck and cold! If that’s a risk, then it seems like the Model X is not a perfect Tahoe car afterall.

    On a completely different topic, you guys should show Katie a bit more respect. She’s a hard-working reporting doing a good job.

  21. Katie, thanks for the hands on look great job. Would love to get your impressions of the car as well. Nice seeing it in action and boy did it look roomy in there. This could be a huge hit with families like mine. Any mention of entertainment options like hooking up video monitors, external computing devices that many suv’s have. Curious too how that impacts batteries.

    1. Katie Fehrenbacher wburdett Friday, February 10, 2012

      wburdett, I know it will have at least the same entertainment system as the Model S. It had the 17 inch touch screen like the Model S, and also rear facing cameras where the mirrors are. But not sure yet on the broader plan for screens for passengers, etc. I’m sure Tesla will do it up right closer to the launch date.

    2. Our rear seat video players are seeing no use, now that our two boys each have iPads. They don’t even use the individual stereo controls for each rear passenger.

      IMO: I don’t think fixed displays for rear seated passengers will do well. The option usually cost $1800. Tablets cost between $400 – $700 and offer more.

  22. The Model X isn’t anything close to a minivan. Maybe it’s an SUV, but even that’s pushing it. It’s a car. It’s a pretty cool electric car, but it’s a CAR.

    Would somebody PLEASE invent a fuel efficient ACTUAL minivan or full-sized van so that I can transport five children with some cargo room to spare. The Honday Odyssey we have now is the closest that I can get to my ideal. Thanks.

  23. interesting, even Elon gets nervous in an interview. Hopefully that doesn’t mean he’s unsure about the product….

  24. Robert Holbrook Friday, February 10, 2012

    You won’t be able to park in a parkade. That’s a serious limitation.

  25. range? can doors close w/ a button for short people?

  26. Jimmy Cracks Capricorns Friday, February 10, 2012

    It’s this kind of engineering that will change the world forever.

  27. Danny Kralemann Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Really cool. Having missed the introduction of the other model, I wonder how far it can go on a charge and recharge requirements.

  28. Need to redo my garage ceiling to get this in.

  29. According to various sources the Tesla Model X will cost at least 80K. Only the the one percenters will be able to afford it.

  30. Elon has his thing going on with everything. Soalr city,Tesla and space x. But im a litle bit worried with the falcon wings,, lets see waht happenns. I mean if you have rockets why do you wanna fly your car. lol

  31. Wow that is some car, mouth agape at the info and the ride at the end, the headroom and when she got surprised by the pick up/kick of the car, very good interview, tsk, damn cool car.

  32. Katie, when Elon starts talking about the way the hinges work, it *totally* seems like a Spinal Tap moment, when Nigel is describing how his amp goes to “11”…re-watch and LMK if you agree. Epic!

  33. Love the falcon doors but I think nobody would be able to get in or out from the back of the car if we’re in the garage because it’d hit the ceiling.

  34. Brad, George you guys should go ahead and ring up Elon and convince him you are important enough to talk to and video for public consumption, then go ahead and post your video and we’ll see what kind of comments come back. K?

  35. I’m all geek, most of the time so usually get technical reports on products. But it’s refreshing to see someone ask “real world” application questions from a practical use point of view. I thoroughly enjoyed Katie’s interview, both in style and content. Perhaps you were expecting her to jump when Elon said “Porsche 911″ (twice) but maybe going 0-60 in 4.4 seconds in the parking lot of a mall is not all that important to Katie and the rest of the market segment that consumes SUV/mini-vans.

  36. Terrible interview… the car looks awesome thou

  37. She is beautifl and did a great job. Too many arm chair quarterbacks here that couldn’t do an interview if they wanted to.

  38. A lot of unnecessary weight by using gold wing doors, about as practical as kicking yourself in the nuts while trying to walk.

  39. I too have enjoyed your interview with Elon Musk, can not wait for the Tesla Model X to come to the Netherlands so that we can see and test him for real.

    Best regards from Amsterdam.

    Alex

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