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Tesla CEO: Model X unveil coming in December

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Tesla Motors will unveil its sport utility electric vehicle sometime in December after finishing up development of an alpha model of the car, chief executive Elon Musk said in the company’s quarterly earnings call today.

The Model X uses the same powertrain and technology as the other electric cars Tesla produces. That helped the company cut the development time for the Model X in half. It also required about a third as much in upfront capital expenditures to begin producing the Model X, Musk said.

“The plan is to have an unveiling of the Model X prototype in the mid-December time frame,” Musk said. “So far it’s looking good, I don’t think anything will cause an issue.”

The company raised an extra $210 million in June to fund development of the Model X and the Model S, its upcoming sedan. Musk said he didn’t expect to raise additional funding for now. “At this point we don’t anticipate any need for a secondary between now and the start of the Model X production,” Musk said. “If we see a significant opportunity and it’s worth the dilution to pursue that opportunity, then we’ll go to market. But we don’t foresee doing that.”

Tesla Motors’ Model X is the third electric car the company will produce. The company first released a pricey sports car called the Tesla Roadster, which costs around $109,000. That car is a two-seater that can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in around 3.7 seconds and can travel more than 200 miles on a single charge. It tops out at around 125 miles per hour.

The company expects to build around 15,000 Model X cars each year once production ramps up in 2013. Musk said he hopes the company will reach the 500,000 yearly vehicle production target the company’s NUMMI production facility can sustain, but doesn’t want to “bite off more than he can chew.”

The company expects to deliver drivable beta models for the Model S (pictured above) in October. The Model S is geared toward casual car buyers and those buying electric cars for the first time.  The Model S costs a slightly more reasonable $57,000 before government incentives for purchasing an electric car, and can travel around 300 miles before needing to recharge.