The fate of Tesla’s much-delayed Model X crossover SUV got a little clearer during an earnings call with Wall Street analysts this week.
In a letter to shareholders, Tesla said a prototypes of the car would be ready by the fourth quarter of this year, with production starting in Spring 2015.
Telsa founder Elon Musk acknowledged the delays but didn’t give a firm date for deliveries of the Model X, which is built on the same platform as the company’s popular Model S electric sedan and is fitted with distinctive “falcon” doors that open upward.
Musk said that making certain that the doors sealed out rain and wind was part of the “creative problem solving” the company was addressing to ready the car for production.
“It’s quite a difficult sealing problem to really get it right,” he said.
Musk also said that Tesla would break ground on the first of its so-called Gigafactories next month in an undisclosed location. The factories will mass-produce lithium-ion battery cells that power the company’s cars and allow it to increase production capacity, which for now is limited to the Model S.
Tesla is also developing an entry-level sedan, formerly known as the Model E, expected to go on sale in 2016 or 2017.