Tesla introduces first all-electric SUV

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Electric car maker Tesla Motors launched its first sport-utility vehicle, the Model X, with a ceremony Tuesday night at its factory in Fremont, California, near San Francisco.

The Model X will be the first fully-electric SUV on the general car market, and the first time the Silicon Valley carmaker and energy-storage pioneer has had two car models available at the same time.

Tesla already has nearly 32,000 orders for the car, according to media reports citing the Tesla Motors Club blog. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has said the Model X, which boasts gull-wing rear doors, will cost about 5,000 dollars more than the Model S sedan, which starts at 70,000 dollars before optional add-ons.

The model is expected to expand Tesla’s potential customer base from the relatively small luxury sedan market to the much larger sport-utility vehicle market, according to auto industry experts cited by local media.

“Tesla now has a family car,” analyst Dan Dolev told the Los Angeles Times.

The introduction of the Model X comes as Tesla works to transform itself from a single-product specialty carmaker to a diversified energy company. A new division, Tesla Energy, announced May 1 it would begin selling residential battery backs for solar energy storage.

Tesla Motors was founded in 2003, and introduced its first car, the Roadster, in 2008.

While its revenues have increased to more than 3.2 billion dollars for 2014, it has yet to post a yearly profit, instead reporting a net loss of 294 million dollars in 2014 and more than 308 million dollars for the most recent quarter ending June 2015.

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