Tesla’s new Model X. Photo: Wired

Tesla and Fisker are not exactly producing electric cars for the 99 percent. Still, these two luxury green automakers are closely watched because both companies have received hundreds of millions in federal loans to help jump start the EV market and rehabilitate major U.S. commercial car factories. Also, they produce sexy cars.

Model X reveal

Elon Musk has pulled the curtain back on his company’s third electric car. The Model X is an SUV that features a pair of double-hinged “Falcon Wing” rear doors for easy loading and unloading. Musk says they will open in tighter spots than the traditional door though I don’t know why you want to park this $50,000 plus luxury car that close to anything. The Model X will do 0-60 MPH in 4.4 seconds. Tesla has begun taking reservations online for its latest high performance EV.

Now that the over-hyped debut of the new crossover has come and gone maybe Tesla can get back to building it’s Model S Sedan which is to be released this summer. Both the Model X and Model S will be built at the company’s factory in Fremont, California which was purchased from a now defunct Toyota-GM factory.

Photo: Road and Track

Fisker shuts down

Meantime, southern California based EV manufacturer Fisker has stopped work at its Delaware auto factory after the U.S. blocked a loan. Last year the Department of Energy awarded Fisker 529 million dollars to manufacture its next plug-in at a closed GM plant. The project is on hold while officials for Fisker and the DOE try to work out concerns that the electric car manufacturer is missing some important deadlines.

While Fisker execs say the company is not going to go down the same path as now bankrupt solar panel company Solyndra, Republican Congress members are already calling for more oversight of DOE loans. Fisker sells the Karma plug-in electric sports car retailing for a whopping $102,000 in the U.S. The company’s new car is supposed to sell for about half of that.

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Andrea Kissack

Andrea has nearly three decades of experience working as a reporter, anchor, producer and editor for public radio, large market television news and CBS radio. In her current role as KQED’s Sr. Science Editor, Andrea helps lead a talented team covering science, technology, health and the environment for broadcast and digital platforms. Most recently she helped KQED launch a new, multimedia initiative covering the intersection of technology, health and medical science. She has earned a number of accolades for her work including awards from the Radio and Television News Directors Association, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Associated Press. Her work can be seen, and heard, on a number of networks, Including NPR, PBS, CBS and the BBC.

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