The Tesla Model X rollout has been (so far, at least) one of the most “interesting” model rollouts I’ve ever witnessed. Scratch that, it’s been the most interesting.
The Model X “design studio” (the place on Tesla’s website where buyers can design exactly the vehicle they want) was supposed to be opened up by the end of August. It seemed that it became available for an initial small number of Signature reservation holders around midnight on August 31 (probably a bit after midnight on September 1, but who’s counting?). Signature reservation holders, btw, are people who plopped down $40,000 dollars to reserve an almost fully loaded Model X — in some cases, years in advance.
Tesla gradually opened the design studio to more and more people over the following weeks, and all ~1,200 US Signature reservation holders have now been invited to configure. The Model X was launched on Sept 29, but plenty of details still haven’t been revealed and configuring a Model X still isn’t an option for the vast majority of reservation holders. Furthermore, changes were made to the options in the design studio a few times in the weeks following the first configuration invitations.
The question now is, when will Signature reservation holders’ record-breaking Model X SUVs be delivered? The other question is, when will production-version Model X reservation holders be invited to configure? Also, when will the “low-end” Model Xs be announced and available to configure (ones with a battery smaller than 90 kWh in capacity)? Well, there are a lot of questions, but let’s start with these.
We still have no real idea about when Signature reservation holders who have configured and “ordered” their cars will receive delivery.
However, an email went out today to a bunch of production reservation holders indicating that Tesla aims to invite all reservation holders to configure by the end of the year. Considering that >32,000 reservations are estimated to have been placed for the Model X, and an estimated >28,000 net reservations are in place if you remove cancellations (which no one outside of Tesla really has a solid number on), that’s a lot of freakin’ people.
If ~25,000 people are going to configure their Model Xs by the end of the year, one would think Tesla is nearly ready to really start pumping these out. But as I pointed out yesterday, it’s very hard to know when Tesla will be ready, and it’s not even clear if Tesla (read: Elon Musk) has a clear idea when suppliers will get Tesla the parts it needs to start producing Model Xs en masse. The big holdups are those awesome second-row seats and the supersplendulous windshield.
As far as the lower-end Model X options with smaller batteries, Elon tweeted the other day that “something like a 70 [kWh]” Model X would be available in about 12 months. Of course, that’s a very loose estimate, but it indicates that no Model Xs with batteries less than a 90 kWh in capacity will be built anytime soon, and probably won’t even be an option in the design studio for many months.
We’ll keep you posted.