A recent study found that men and women drive their electric vehicles differently. That might help explain why there is a male bias towards Tesla's electric offerings while the more practical Nissan Leaf get the attention of female drivers. Well, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who spoke with investors yesterday during the company's annual shareholder meeting, the upcoming Tesla Model X could shift the paradigm of the gendered EV.
Musk didn't get into details, but responding to a question from the audience, Musk said that "we're certainly paying more attention to the needs of women in the Model X. ... We probably got a little too guy-centric on the S. So, we're hoping to correct that with the X." Musk also said that the "production version of the Model X actually looks different from [what we've seen before], it looks better."
"We probably got a little too guy-centric on the S. So, we're hoping to correct that with the X" – Elon Musk
When we think about the design of the Model X, the first thing that comes to mind are those falcon-wing doors, which Tesla repeatedly promises are sticking around in the production version. Perhaps the feel of opening them is what he meant when he said the design is meant to appeal to women?
Whatever the case, Model X pre-orders are rolling in. Once the EV arrives in customer driveways some time next year (Musk said he expects volume production to kick in during the second quarter of 2015), we'll have a better idea if it's the soccer moms or the soccer dads who like the AWD-only Model X more.
So in the case of Model X that's just taken a bit longer than we would have liked. In particular, getting the falcon-wing door right is extremely difficult. Things that you maybe wouldn't expect are also very difficult, things like the second row seats are quite a challenge because what we're aiming for with the Model X is that when you open the falcon-wing door, you have the second row seats essentially framed and we want that to feel like a work of art. If you open up the door it should be this amazing experience. I mean, it may sound a bit silly, but it should just feel like "ahh!" [laughs] And then the seat, I mean it's just the seat but we want the seat to be like feel like a work of art like something you could have in a museum. Anyway, that's where we're going for with the Model X, and it's bloody hard.
You can see all of Musk's remarks in the video below. The comments on women and the Model X some are around minute 30, with the falcon-wing door discussion happening at minute 22 or so.