AUTO

Tesla books $40 million in reservations for electric SUV

USA/

For an automaker that isn’t currently making any cars, Tesla had a pretty good week.

In the days following the unveiling of its Model X electric SUV on February 9th, the California-based company booked $40 million worth of reservations for the vehicle, with potential owners writing checks for at least $5,000 per vehicle.

Read: Tesla electric SUV to fly on "Falcon Wings"

Although pricing for the seven-passenger vehicle has not been announced, Tesla says it will be comparable to similar sized vehicles like the Audi Q7 and in line with its upcoming Model S sedan, which starts at $67,400 when equipped with the same size battery pack as the Model X.

At that price, $40 million translates into less than 600 vehicles, but since the Model X isn’t set to enter production until late 2013, and no one outside the company has driven it yet, that’s an impressive showing of support.

The Model X features three rows of seating and upward opening “Falcon Wing” rear doors and will be produced at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory alongside the Model S, which the company says will enter production by July of this year.

Tesla expects to sell 10,000-15,000 of the Model X and around 20,000 of the Model S annually.

On a conference call with reporters to discuss fourth quarter 2011 earnings, Tesla said that it posted a loss of $81.5 million, but that it has no plans to raise additional funding and that it remains in a strong cash position as it gears up for Model S sales to begin.