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Tesla scores $10M grant from CA for Model X

Electric car maker Tesla (s TSLA) has scored a $10 million grant from the California Energy Commission to help it make its next-generation electric SUV/minivan the Model X, Forbes reports. The article says that Tesla will use the grant to hire another 700 workers in 2014, and Tesla will match the grant with $50 million of its own funds.

Tesla unveiled the Model X — a crossover vehicle with “falcon” wing doors (double-hinged doors) that could appeal to women and families — in February of this year. The Model X will be built on the Model S platform and will be priced in the same range as the Model S. Here’s a short video we made with the Model X earlier this year:

Tesla is in a bit of a tricky spot right now. Earlier this month, the company announced that it is making Model S cars more slowly than expected, and that it plans to raise more money. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company is only raising more money for risk reduction.

Still, this is one of the most difficult times for Tesla, as it needs to ramp up production of the Model S at a rapid rate and transition into being a more mainstream auto manufacturer. Tesla also recently announced that it is building out solar-powered electric car charging stations that it will let Model S owners use for free.

3 Responses to “Tesla scores $10M grant from CA for Model X”

  1. As a factual matter “earlier this month” seems a bit of a stretch considering the actual announcements (and stories) you are referencing occurred in September.

    Tesla was in a “tricky spot” because it was questionable whether it had enough cash on hand to get through the production ramp up. With the extra cash on hand that it raised from the secondary it’s position isn’t nearly so tricky. They likely have over $250 million to tide them over as they continue to ramp up, and they are set to be cash flow positive this month.

    At that point they wont be drawing down reserve capital to support the ramp. And speaking of the ramp up they were producing ~100 cars per week at the end of September, and from VIN notifications it looks like they may have produced around 150 cars in the first week of October.

    All indications are that they are well on their way to reaching their goal of ~400 cars per week.