The Tesla Model X Electric SUV: The Complete Guide For India

Tesla Model X Electric SUV


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

For those keen on an overview of the Indian and global electric vehicle (EV) market, simply scroll down to the end of the article!


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The Tesla Model X Electric SUV


Tesla Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors Inc.) is a US based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer with the following portfolio of electric vehicles:

The Model X prototype was unveiled in 2012.  The mid-sized all-electric SUV with its Falcon wing doors has certainly contributed to Tesla’s cache.  The Model X was designed from the Model S platform and still retains much in common with the Model S.  The Model X deliveries commenced in late 2015. 

Like other Tesla electric cars, the Model X has also claimed its fair share of awards.  In 2017, Forbes named the zero tailpipe emission SUV the ‘Best Vehicle of the Year’.  In the same year the Model X was also awarded the ‘Top Green Vehicle’ by the American Automobile Association. The Model X SUV also holds the unique distinction of achieving a Guinness World Record for the ‘heaviest tow by an electric production passenger vehicle’. In 2018, the zero-emission electric vehicle (EV) towed a Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

As of 2021, the pure electric SUV is available in only two trims, the Long Range and the Plaid model.     

Tesla Model X electric SUV India
The All-Electric Tesla Model X SUV (credit:Tesla)

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:SUV
Engine:Electric
Available In India:No

Trims (2 Options)
Long Range
Plaid

PROSCONS
Excellent EV range and access to Supercharger networkExpensive. Cheaper pure electric alternatives available
Powerful and fast electric performanceBuild quality issues
Excellent interior space and easy access to rear seatsFull Self-Driving option not cheap (£6,800)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size (95 kWh)
Charging:250 kW rapid charging standard (Supercharge up to 175 miles in 15 mins). On-board charger 16.5 kW AC
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 120,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1684
Width (mm):1999
Length (mm):5036
Wheelbase (mm):2965

Tesla Model X Long Range
EV Battery Capacity:95 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):360 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):N/A
Charging:250 kW Rapid Charging (on-board charger: 16.5 kW AC)
Top Speed:155 mph
0-60 mph:3.8 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):500
Max Power (hp):670
Torque (Nm):N/A
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:7
Doors:5
Driving Modes:N/A
Weight (kg):2,352
Colours:5

Tesla Model X Plaid
EV Battery Capacity:95 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):340 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):N/A
Charging:250 kW Rapid Charging (on-board charger: 16.5 kW AC)
Top Speed:163 mph
0-60 mph:3.5 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):760
Max Power (hp):1.020
Torque (Nm):N/A
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:7
Doors:5
Driving Modes:N/A
Weight (kg):2,455
Colours:5

Tesla Model X electric SUV India
The All-Electric Tesla Model X SUV (credit:Tesla)

Tesla Model X electric SUV India
The All-Electric Tesla Model X SUV (credit:Tesla)

Tesla Model X electric SUV India
The All-Electric Tesla Model X SUV (credit:Tesla)

India Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


India, like many other countries, is well positioned to benefit from the shift to zero-tailpipe emission electric driving. Road transportation is a major contributor to air pollution (over 30%), choking our towns, cities and villages across India. Diesel vehicles, in particular, diesel trucks and diesel buses, are significant sources for tailpipe emissions. But given the rise in the standard of living, since liberalisation, the demand for privately owned passenger cars has increased at an unprecedented pace, further worsening the air quality. India has more than 3 crores (30 million) cars releasing tailpipe emissions on its roads!

Though we have seen some improvements in air quality during the ongoing pandemic (as a result of lower vehicle traffic), India’s shift to electric driving will be key in achieving long-term higher air quality. Of course, apart from EVs, the continued development of green and renewable energy infrastructure will be key in achieving lower long-term air pollution. India has already demonstrated global leadership in regards to large-scale solar and wind projects! Hopefully, India will replicate the success with zero-emission electric vehicles.

Despite recent announcements and support from local and national government agencies in India, the EV market is still at a nascent stage, well, at least in terms of electric cars and electric vans. Two-wheel electric scooters and three-wheel electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) have demonstrated a strong uptake, and India is poised to become a global leader in electric scooters and electric rickshaws (e-tuk). In fact, the ubiquitous e-rickshaw commands an impressive 83% of the Indian electric vehicle market. India currently has over 15 lakhs (1.5 million) e-rickshaws, with each EV playing a role in reducing tailpipe emissions on our roads in India.

Sales of passenger electric cars is still at an early stage. In FY2021, though the market witnessed a growth of nearly 110% from the previous year, the absolute volume of cars sold was only 5,905 electric cars. Currently there are less that 15 pure electric car models available on sale in India.

Tata Motors, the biggest automotive manufacturer in India has launched the Tata Nexon electric SUV. Mahindra Electric, another leading Indian automotive manufacturer, has also launched a number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), to include, the Mahindra eVerito electric car, Mahindra eSupro electric van and Mahindra e2o Plus compact electric car. International manufacturers, like UK based MG Motors, have also launched the MG ZS electric SUV in India. Also available are the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV and the Hyundai Kona electric SUV.


Global Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), more commonly referred to simply as, electric vehicles (EVs) or as plug-in electric cars, have come a long way over the past decade and certainly a long way over the past 100 years.

Electric vehicles came into prominence in the early 1900’s, a time when horse-drawn carriages were the primary mode of transportation.  Archived black and white photographs from that period show famous avenues like Madison Avenue in New York city filled with horse-drawn carriages.  In stark contrast, a similar photograph taken a decade later of Madison Avenue showed not a single horse-drawn carriage.  Instead the avenue was filled with motor vehicles, a new invention at that time. 

We are now witnessing a similar fundamental shift in road transportation, as polluting internal combustion engines (ICE) petrol and diesel vehicles are being replaced by low-emission and zero-emission electric vehicles. In countries like the United Kingdom, a leader in e-mobility, we can expect a comprehensive replacement of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 (UK will ban the sale of new ICE cars in 2030). The UK is not the only country that has a vision of a mass transition to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars.

Since 2011, the global electric vehicle (EV) market has increased at a year-over-year growth rate of over 50%. In 2020, according to the Global EV Outlook 2021 report, the global stock of electric vehicles (EVs) had surpassed 10 million units . In 2015, the Global stock was just over 1 million units. In 2020, Europe accounted for the largest share of new car registrations of EVs (1.4 million registered electric vehicles), followed by China (1.2 million electric vehicles). In Europe, countries like Norway, Iceland and Sweden continue to show strong leadership in the transition to electric driving. In Norway more than 75% of new cars are electric, followed by 50% in Iceland and 30% in Sweden.

However, this is not just a western phenomenon. A number of countries across the world have announced their support for electric cars, to include India. Pure electric cars are now common sightings in a number of global markets, and EV automotive manufacturers, like California based Tesla Motors are now household brands.

Traditional automotive manufactures have also shown significant commitment to the migration to electric engines, to include Volvo Cars, the Volkswagen Group, Renault, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Mercedes, Land Rover and many more. Forecast for the sale of EVs suggest up to 30 million electric vehicles to be sold before the end of the current decade.



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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