Photo: Flickr, CC
Would They Have Won?
Tesla Motors has decided to remove its Model S electric sedan from the "mainstream" category of the Automotive X Prize. The company says that it wants to focus all its efforts on getting the car into production, and presumably the X Prize was a distraction from that. But they're not completely out: The Model S will instead be competing in the "demonstration" category.
Photo: Flickr, CC
X Prize officials were surprised at Tesla's decision to withdraw at such a late stage (the first 'shakedown' race stage starts in May), with Eric Cahill, Senior Director of the Prize, telling Stuff: "We're still trying to get clarification as to what's driving them for the shift."
However, Tesla insists there is no bad blood between them. Reyes said, "The competition division is amazingly good but the demonstration division is one that people shouldn't look past. It's more geared towards actual car manufacturers and it's a better fit for us."
So getting the Model S in the demonstration category is the plan now, but maybe even that won't be possible. Ricardo Reyes, Tesla's vice president for communication, admitted that the Model S might not make it to the demonstration category.
Not Necessarily Bad
But if getting out of the Auto X Prize can help Tesla do a better job of prepping the Model S for mass production, then so be it. Tesla had less to gain from a win than many other groups; it is already a very well known brand in the electric car world (in the car world in general, some would argue), and the $10 million prize would only have represented a tiny fraction of what it is already spending.
Smaller teams probably could use the name recognition and money a lot more...
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