The California Energy Commission this week approved about $26 million in loan and grant issuances, including $10 million for Tesla Motors to help build the company\u2019s in-development battery electric SUV. Tesla\u2019s Model X is designed as a full-sized battery electric sport utility vehicle. The company has plans to start production by the end of 2013, with deliveries beginning the following year. Under the action approved Oct. 10, the company is to be given a $10 million grant, to be matched with $50.2 million in funding from Tesla itself. The vehicle would have a driving range of over 240 miles on a single charge, and would be produced at a rate of 10,000 to 15,000 a year beginning in late 2014, according to commission staff. \u201cThe primary activities in this project include the expansion of Tesla\u2019s manufacturing capacity in Fremont,\u201d explained Charles Smith, CEC energy specialist. \u201cModel X will provide Californians with a clean alternative to an internal combustion SUV.\u201d Funding for the grant comes from the commission\u2019s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology program. It distributes as much as $100 million annually to vehicle and technology manufacturers and academic institutions to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help achieve California\u2019s climate change policy objectives. The approval vote was 3-0, with commission chair Bob Weisenmiller absent. The commission also unanimously approved a $3 million contract with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for the Bay Area eTaxi Program. Under the program, the BAAQMD is demonstrating zero-emission battery electric taxis with switchable batteries meant to give the vehicles basically unlimited range within the taxi company\u2019s coverage area. Two battery switch stations and six battery-switchable electric taxis are being deployed as part of the project. Among the program\u2019s objectives, according to the Energy Commission, are to demonstrate over the course of three years that the battery switchable vehicle taxis can serve customers at a rate similar to that of a comparable hybrid taxi service. Like the Tesla grant, funding for the eTaxi program contract comes from the vehicle technology program. The Commission also approved an undated set of green building standards that state calculations say could help California avoid more than 155,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and save 200 million gallons of water per year. The standards consist mainly of voluntary energy efficiency measures for new residential and nonresidential buildings and guidelines for additions and alterations to newly constructed and existing buildings. The voluntary measures include creating budgets for indoor and outdoor energy usage and installing high efficiency lighting. The CEC estimates that new buildings built pursuant to the 2013 standards would not only save 200 million gallons of water annually and eliminate 155 metric tons of GHG emissions, but also save $1.6 billion in energy over 30 years.