Tesla Motors Inc Should Watch Germany, Not Detroit for Competition

Detroit can't seem to get electric vehicles right. The Chevy Volt by General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) is only half electric and isn't inspirational for the high-end market that can go electric. The Nissan Leaf would leave even the shortest commuter with range anxiety. And the Ford (NYSE: F  ) Focus Electric doesn't quite provide enough range or excitement to be a real competitor. 

While Detroit leaves the high end of the EV market to Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) , instead focusing on cheaper models, there's one company building the capability to compete in the top end of the market. BMW's (NASDAQOTH: BAMXY  ) i-series is the first step into the EV market, and it brings performance and new technology to the equation. 

The i3 is BMW's longer-range, lower-cost model, while the i8 is a hybrid that can perform with the Model S in almost any performance category. There's no doubt Tesla has a head start on BMW, but this is an auto giant with a loyal following and if it keeps pouring money into developing EVs it will be the first major competitor to Tesla's dominance. 

Below, Motley Fool contributor Travis Hoium discusses why Tesla should watch BMW and how this is just the beginning of competition in the EV market. 

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  • Report this Comment On March 31, 2014, at 7:23 AM, haaggus wrote:

    I doubt anyone looks at Detroit and thinks "competition."

  • Report this Comment On March 31, 2014, at 4:15 PM, bobbleheadguru wrote:


    "Detroit can't seem to get electric vehicles right."

    (The Chevy Volt is made in Detroit.)

    My FOUR questions to counterpoise your statement:

    1. Then why did the Volt outsell ALL other plugins in 2011 AND 2012 AND 2013.

    2. Why did the Chevy Volt outsell the Prius in its first three years (when it first launched)? Prius is now the #3 nameplate worldwide.

    3. Why does Chevy Volt have the #1 Customer Satisfaction for ANY car under $50K in 2011 AND 2012 AND 2013?

    4. Why is GM now generating $1,000,000,000 per year in revenue from the Volt, ELR, Spark and Ampera?

  • Report this Comment On April 01, 2014, at 2:12 AM, ABC123McCarthy wrote:

    This is very interesting...

    Germany has been leading the world in their green initiatives and has been the most successful in reducing their carbon footprint.

    This is partially due to the high prices of fossil fuels but also largely due to their cultures ability to recognize the need for change.

    BMW is a great vehicle and it will be interesting to see what steps Elon Musk takes in the next few months to combat the extended range that the i8 is stated to have.

    As for my opinion,

    Elon Musk is an innovator, hard worker, and most importantly he is competitive. You don't teach yourself computer programming unless you have an innate drive to be successful. If I had to pick a company to go 'all in' on as of right now, it is Tesla.

    Only time (and technological innovations) will tell....

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Travis Hoium

Travis Hoium has been writing for since July 2010 and covers the solar industry, renewable energy, and gaming stocks among other things.

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