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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Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends Ford, General Motors, and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.