SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive and Chairman Elon Musk are officially announcing a new high-efficiency solar panel today at the Inside Energy conference. During an interview at the conference, Elon Musk was talking about his other venture, Tesla Motors, and he revealed that the recent launch of the Model X caused a big uptick in orders for Tesla’s other vehicle, the Model S. His exact words were “big, a very big jump in orders” according to Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff. At the launch, Tesla impressed attendees with a myriad of new features on the Model X, but the company only released the 90D and P90D versions of the SUV, which starts at $132,000. Musk later confirmed less expensive versions starting at $5,000 more than the Model S will follow, but without confirming any launch date.
The CEO had previously mentioned that the Model X would start at only $5,000 more than a comparable Model S, which starts at $75,000 for an all-wheel-drive version.
The number of Model X reservation holders is estimated to be between 25,000 to 30,000. In the light of possible delays of the base versions of the vehicle, some might have decided to instead go with a Model S, which could explain the recent uptick in sales.
Tesla’s CEO also reported that the company secured just yesterday a “certificate of occupancy” for the Gigafactory in Nevada. He expects to start production of battery cells by “spring 2016”.
Musk went on a tangent about Tesla, but the focus of the interview was on SolarCity’s new panel technology, which we reported on this morning. The company achieved the best efficiency ever for a rooftop panel: 22%. It will start production later this month in its 100 MW pilot plant in Fremont, California.
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