Why BMW Will Leave Tesla in the Dust

The rapid rise of electric vehicles has been good to Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) shareholders during the last year. While companies like Nissan stake out the lower-end market, Elon Musk seems to have sewn up the luxury segment.

But that's changing. BMW's (NASDAQOTH: BAMXF  ) electric city car, called the i3, has been gaining traction. The company received more than 8,000 pre-orders for the car before it hit European showrooms in November, and by mid-January, when U.S. dealers began taking orders, this number had risen to 11,000 -- more than the company expected to sell during all of 2014.  

i3. Source: BMW.

The hatchback might not seem like a direct competitor to Musk's super sedan, but it's likely just the first jab in what's poised to be an all-out war for the luxury electric-car market. This year, BMW will launch the i8, a hybrid electric supercar that, with a $135,000 price tag and top-shelf performance, takes direct aim at the Model S. Longer term, BMW plans to launch a full i-series lineup of electric cars, in the first credible threat to Tesla's burgeoning EV dynasty. 

Home-field advantage
Right now, Tesla is the de facto electric luxury brand, but I'm betting this will change. BMW is the first brand with legitimate luxury cachet to enter the electric market. Both companies target drivers who are younger, more affluent, more educated, and more liberal than average. BMW has owned this market for a long time, and research shows that its ample brand power should translate well to the EV market.

In fact, a global survey by Deloitte found that, of people who would buy an electric vehicle, 7% would be most likely to buy one made by BMW. That's nearly triple BMW's 2012 market share in the U.S., suggesting that electric-vehicle owners are disproportionately likely to buy BMWs. Drill down on the luxury part of the market, and it becomes clear that the majority of Tesla owners (and potential buyers) should also be interested in a BMW-branded electric vehicle.  

BMW has owned the high-performance luxury segment for decades. Tesla is just visiting. Don't deceive yourself about who has home-field advantage in this fight.

The sleeping giant
In April, BMW added production capacity for the i3 line, boosting its 70 vehicles per week to 100 in response to wait times that had ballooned to six months. Though still far less than the 600 cars per week Tesla manages -- or the 1,000 Tesla targets -- it's worth noting that BMW added capacity simply by deciding to do so. There wasn't any fanfare or lofty targets, BMW just hit the "on" switch. This demonstrates the scale advantage that a stalwart like BMW has over an upstart like Tesla. BMW's MINI brand produced nearly 304,000 cars in 2013, or about 5,800 a week. That's nearly six times Tesla's target production rate. The company's core BMW brand produced roughly 32,800 cars per week -- more than Tesla managed during all of last year. 

In terms of production, BMW can crush Tesla any time it feels like doing so. No, BMW likely won't throw the full weight of its manufacturing base behind the i-series anytime soon, but the massive capacity does give BMW an enormous advantage. First, it helps BMW cut costs through economies of scale. Second, it helps the company meet demand more efficiently. As wait lists continue to grow, potential car buyers, faced with largely comparable electric cars, will likely settle for whatever is most readily available. That'll be a BMW. And once the Model S stops being the de facto electric vehicle, Tesla will struggle to charge a premium.

Advanced weaponry
Though Tesla had first crack at the electric vehicle market, BMW knows the efficient sports-car market too well to discount. The boys from Bavaria cut their teeth during the height of European fuel shortages, and they built their brand on performance, luxury, and efficiency back when Musk was still in diapers. Though the company's expertise in diesel likely won't translate, its skill with lightweight construction will.

The i3 and i8 both heavily use a material called carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP. BMW began toying with the technology as a way to improve the performance and fuel economy of their conventional models. Now, the company is the global leader in using the technology for vehicle production. CFRP is substantially lighter than the aluminum Tesla uses in the model S, and it should help BMW match the range Tesla gets from its advanced batteries, but with lower cost and better performance.

The Foolish bottom line
Tesla might be the leader in luxury electric vehicles, but only a (small-f) fool would assume it has the market sewn up. Industry juggernauts like BMW have taken notice and are entering the fray. Granted, Tesla doesn't need to beat BMW to be a spectacular investment. Selling 100,000 electric vehicles in five years will mean a lot more to a new entrant like Tesla than a stalwart like BMW. If you're trying to play the electric car market in general, the best bet might be to invest in both companies and let the market sort out winners from losers.

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Read/Post Comments (57) | Recommend This Article (18)

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  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 12:30 PM, santoshps wrote:

    BMW I80 is NO comparison to TSLA...period

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 12:35 PM, Joedabear wrote:

    While I have infinite admiration and would gladly have a stable full of various BMW models, "THAT LITTLE THING????" NO WAY/ Come on BMMR. You've got to do a lot better than that." I personally am looking forward to getting an S model or the one with the Gull-Wing doors!

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 12:40 PM, FoolJewel wrote:

    The author doesn't 'get it' on so many levels. The question should be this: is the competition you are describing for sales of units, or sales of innovative game-changing product and the associated cache - name brand recognition and true innovation trumps over time. His comment that BMW just has to hit the "on" switch to compete with Tesla is naive. It's comparable to saying IBM just had to hit the on button to compete with Apple back in the day. Sure, they had more units go out the door, but no one equates IBM PCs with Apple computers. BMW lags well behind in battery technology (compare ranges for Teslas and BMWs; the battery range on the i8 is a joke), Tesla also dominates in quality and features (ever look at the dashboard of the newest BMWs? The approach and features are marginal upgrades on years before, similar to marginal improvements by Mercedes, Lexus, etc. Elon is doing for cars what Jobs did with the iPhone. I am dumping my Lexus this year for a model S and Lexus should be worried, as I was a faithful Lexus owner for 20 years.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 1:07 PM, jmc228 wrote:

    That car is hideous...

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 1:08 PM, RobertFaheyJr wrote:
  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 1:09 PM, toomuchgas wrote:

    Cars get you from point A to point B. These expensive toys are a waste of money and dumb investments.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 1:14 PM, thranx wrote:

    1) BMW doesn't make an EV. They make hybrids. So...no competition yet (why can't writers comprehend the difference between an EV and a hybrid?).

    2) I generally like the look of BMW's, but this reminds me of the Pontiac Aztek.

    3) The difference between Tesla and everyone chasing it is that Tesla engineered a battery system and built a car around it, whereas BMW and everybody else is trying to shoehorn a battery system into an existing car. Bad engineering.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 1:26 PM, johnestromjr wrote:

    Not going to happen. First,although BMW is a fine company they're still a company based on gasoline and diesel engines. In short they are not the experts on electrical anything. Tesla, on the other hand IS the expert and has pioneered this field so, regardless of how big BMW is it will not be the state of the art in electrical vehicles nore will GM or Toyota. The key for all of them is developing technology that offers quicker charging of the batteries, longer distances before recharging and reducing the cost of those vehicles. Tesla has spent the money on developing new batteries, has spent the money on re-charging facilities on the major corridors and soon will have them throughout the country. What has BMW done? Zip. Also, the Tesla platform can be changed rapidly from one configuration to another. Nice try

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 1:31 PM, ashaskevich wrote:

    "a global survey by Deloitte found that, of people who would buy an electric vehicle, 7% would be most likely to buy one made by BMW"

    And what would the other 93% buy? A Tesla maybe?

    Other comments have stated that this article is trash, I may add that the author is selectively using data to spin a false narrative.

    BMW like the other ICE vehicle manufacturers are not going to go fully electric across the board. They are all married to Exxon, Texaco, BP, etc...and lets not forget the buddies in the Middle East.

    Fly a jet airliner full of fuel into a building is what the middle east buddies do with petroleum based products.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 1:50 PM, Rotomoley wrote:

    Foolish indeed. i8 is nothing compared to Tesla. In performance and likely reliabity. Not to slap BMW in particular, but the Germans are not electronic geniuses. Tesla and the US are. BMW only has brand. But not in electrics.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 1:53 PM, ICanFool wrote:

    BMW and Mercedes are playing with Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with the help of Ballard. Mercedes has lot of experience with Hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) powered Buses. Hyundai has started shipping HFC vehicles starting this fall in California. followed by Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Tesla will have tough competition once the hydrogen fuel infrastructure takes off, which is soon.

    There were Naysayers, before automobiles, Highways .... Buggywhips are gone, wood burning stoves are gone ... Pretty soon we will have Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. India's Modi Govt will start pushing for HFC to get rid of diesel fumes in India..

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 2:04 PM, drax7 wrote:

    BMW is going to also build a rocket ship and launch soon, and then they will kill tesla in space too. I am sure of it.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 2:19 PM, middlenamefrank wrote:

    Tesla is ALREADY beating the pants off of BMW, in addition to Mercedes, Cadillac, Lexus, Jaguar....in their own wheelhouses. The Model S scores better than any luxury car, regardless of drivetrain, in every review that's ever been done, in owner feedback, in every survey. The fact that it's an EV is irrelevant -- it competes and destroys all the others on whatever terms you want to define.

    You're thinking that this undersized, under-performing, ugly, short-ranged, half-assed product BMW has cranked out to satisfy the "greenies" among us is going to turn those tables around? Think again.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 2:30 PM, Albertico wrote:

    Foolish title and article assessment, and not in a good way.

    The BMW i8 as beautiful as it is, is nothing more than glorified hybrid with around 20 miles of electric range and can only sit 2 full grown adults.

    Tesla's Model S is full 100% electric, has 265 miles of electric range and can sit 5 full grown adults.

    Both cars have near identical 0-60 accelaration times; but where the performance version of the Model S starts at $94,000, BMW's i8 starts at $135,000.

    I mean let's be serious: why would you spend $40,000 dollars more on a car that doesn't perform better, has less than half the sitting/luggage space and still needs to use gasoline?

    The BMW i8 is a joke whenever it comes to any comparison to the Tesla Model S, and anyone who attempts to make that comparison need not be taken seriously.

    In 3 years or so when or if BMW makes a full electric car that can do 200+ miles on a charge, then we can have this conversation.

    P.S. mentioning the i3 is even more laughable than mentioning the i8

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 2:32 PM, JoeCaruso wrote:

    I had the BMW Active-E prototype for 2 years. While is was a good car, BMW failed misearbly to maintain it properly. I test drove the i3 and didn't like it. Feels and looks cheap. Test drove the Tesla and it's what a luxury EV should be ... AMAZING! BMW may be getting some sales now but Tesla will be wiping them up once the Model E goes into production!!!

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 3:22 PM, EllisonM wrote:

    But buying stock in BMW still largely fuels their massive gas guzzling, climate change SUVs.

    A Tesla investment is a clean energy and clean conscience investment.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 3:45 PM, weaponz wrote:

    The i3 and i8 are a joke compared to Tesla. In reality BMW positioned themselves behind everyone else.

    They spent time and money building obsolete platforms that will position them behind every other car maker even, not just Tesla.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 3:51 PM, monkeyfurball wrote:

    Tesla will be bankrupt within 7 years.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 3:57 PM, StanO6 wrote:

    @ Frank Thomas, your “with the flip of a switch” comment is naïve.

    Consider:

    The most aerodynamic (Car and Driver)...

    The best automobile (Consumer Reports)...

    Strongest roof (broke the test equipment)...

    Longest range...

    Seats 7...

    Largest interior space...

    Most advanced battery management...

    Largest free charging network...

    Etc...

    Model S. Not from BMW, GM, Toyota, Nissan... Tesla Motors. Seriously smart people. The problems they can't solve? They have rocket scientists on speed dial. That's not a joke.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 3:58 PM, thesneezer wrote:

    I'm just a bit surprised that BMW is interested in the EV market. It is only likely to ever represent but a small percentage of the auto market overall and will require huge development costs for them. They already dominate such highly profitable markets within the luxury field that it makes me wonder it it would be worth it to them to enter with even one or two EV models.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 4:10 PM, sabebrush6 wrote:

    BMW is just an overpriced sled. I would rather have a Tesla any day after taking a ride in one.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 4:18 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    The i3 is an interesting car that has a market.

    But knocking the Tesla Model S off as the best luxury EV? LOL, you are joking, right?

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 4:19 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    Doesn't the i3 look like a Piggy Bank?

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 4:39 PM, SteveTG3 wrote:

    is this some sort of late Apri Fool's joke?

    BMW going from 70 cars/week to 100 more easily than Tesla is going from 600/week to 1,000 is supposed to be taken as some meaningful indicator that BMW can ramp up EVs faster than Tesla?

    Tesla is targeting 500,000 EVs per year in 2020. Where exactly do you see BMW flipping an on switch to match that? Tesla will be supplying batteries for their 500K cars by doubling global lithium ion battery production. BMW and everyone else on the planet, from cell phone makers to other automakers will be splitting up the other half of global battery output.

    the i8? others have gone through the absurdity of the comparison based on price, range, and it being a plug-in hybrid rather than an EV. I'll just add that for the 20 miles or so you can operate it in EV mode, it's a very expensive car with less power than a Nissan Leaf. It's battery is not just a fraction of the size of that in the Model S, but a fraction of the size of that in a Leaf, or a Mitsubishi iMiev for that matter. Drive it as an EV, 0-60 in 14 seconds... drive it as a hybrid, why compare it to a Tesla?

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 4:44 PM, willphule wrote:

    Articles like this are the reason I stopped reading anything on fool.com - apparently nothing has changed in the intervening years.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 4:50 PM, SteveTG3 wrote:

    RobertFahey,

    excellent link

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 5:23 PM, btc909 wrote:

    I'm sure the i3 drives just fine until you turn the steering wheel.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 5:25 PM, btc909 wrote:

    "Piss off Tesla, blah, blah, so & so has a _____ !"

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 5:27 PM, josh28105 wrote:

    BMW is a keeping up with the Jones car. It is not reliable. It is super expensive to repair. Tesla is a nice car. Too expensive for me to buy. The center console is a beauty.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 5:54 PM, TMFFrank wrote:

    Wow Fools, that's an intense response. Rather than reiterate my logic, let's make a few factual points.

    @thranx

    "BMW doesn't make an EV. They make hybrids. So...no competition yet (why can't writers comprehend the difference between an EV and a hybrid?)."

    Actually, the i3 is an EV -- that's the point of this article. You can get a range extending motor, similar to the Volt, but the car can still go 100+ miles on the battery. So, yeah. They do, in fact make an electric car.

    On another, does this distinction have a point? The i8 is a hybrid, but given it's MPG and performance, there's little real distinction. EVs do, in fact, compete with hybrids.

    Apparently nobody read this line of the article:

    "The hatchback might not seem like a direct competitor to Musk's super sedan, but it's likely just the first jab in what's poised to be an all-out war for the luxury electric-car market. This year, BMW will launch the i8, a hybrid electric supercar that, with a $135,000 price tag and top-shelf performance, takes direct aim at the Model S. Longer term, BMW plans to launch a full i-series lineup of electric cars, in the first credible threat to Tesla's burgeoning EV dynasty."

    The i3 is not meant to be a direct competitor. But, it's a sign of things to come.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 6:27 PM, SteveTG3 wrote:

    TMFFrank,

    Given, your last post, you do not seem to see what is going on here.

    For the rest of us, it is abundantly clear, you've either not researched the subject or you have a personal agenda to attempt to paint Tesla in a negative light divorced from reality (this is not a judgement of you, but simply a description of the behavior we can all see).

    You've done it again in your latest response:

    "Actually, the i3 is an EV -- that's the point of this article. You can get a range extending motor, similar to the Volt"

    The range extender in the i3 is an emergency backup, it is absurd to compare it to the Volt's range extender which is for everyday use,

    Don't believe me? Here's what BMW has said about the range extender in the i3:

    "Even then, executives stressed that the ReX "isn't for regular use, [but] just to keep the electric system going,"

    Herbert Diess, global R&D boss for BMW, was recently quoted on the ReX range extender in Plastics News (in an article originally published in trade weekly Automotive News).

    Diess explained the company's point of view, reinforcing the viewpoint cited at the launch:

    The range extender is not intended for daily use. It's for situations when the driver needs to extend the range of the vehicle to reach the next charging station. Therefore, the i3 probably won't be the choice for customers with a need for an extended range. "

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1082814_bmw-i3-electric-...

    The rest of your comment where you claim that "there's little real distinction" between an EV and a hybrid speaks for itself.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 6:41 PM, Johnny04 wrote:

    BMW produces 70 vehicles per week while Tesla produces 600 cars per week. Wait, which way is the dust flying? Tesla must be shaken in its boots right now.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 7:02 PM, cohenfive wrote:

    This is still very, very early days in ev's. Tesla and BMW are separately attacking the biggest issues with their manufacure--Tesla pushing to make the batteries cheaper, and BMW trying to make the cars much lighter. I would not count BMW out, but Tesla does some things that are unique and important as well..it should be fun, and is all good for consumers.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 8:22 PM, brian2md wrote:

    I think nearly all of the previous comments are spot on. Does anyone else think that the established car makers are not interested in making an premium electric car, much less compete with Tesla in that space?

    Tesla's goal is to be non-profit in the service area. The only thing they don't replace in a service visit is tires. The idea of competition is being so narrowly cast that most of these "competitor to Tesla" articles come off as misinformation.

    Perhaps the authors are only interested in bolstering their opinions/positions without looking at the larger picture.

    I can only hope rational readers do their own research. I have read the news, went to the dealers/showrooms, seen the cars, test drove what I could. Right now, there is no competition, and Tesla is not slowing down. Of course the price is high, but many owners say it is worth it. I can only wait for the Model E, and hope that Tesla maintains the goals it set for itself 10 years ago.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 8:23 PM, Fiat500S wrote:

    The i8 is a range extender, in that case it's 3 Chevy Volts. Someone is either going to have to step up to Tesla's 210-265 mile range on pure battery in the luxury segment or concede to Tesla that segment of the market. I have a gut feeling the Tesla e model will come back down to the rest of the $ 30-40K EV's. If somehow they can drop the same battery capacity into a smaller ev sized car like Volt or Fiat 500e or Leaf or Prius o even Mercedes Benz new ev and get the same mileage or better per charge than the S, the Tesla may not be the defacto champ in the budget segment ? I don't see how Tesla will be able to offer the S level of luxury for $ 35K, Mercedes can't deliver it for $ 40K ? But we shall see ?

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 8:35 PM, BBBBandit wrote:

    Now I see why you call yourself a "fool." Fool indeed. Tesla has established a large lead in manufacturing capacity and is selling every car it builds immediately. The wait time to get one is three months, minimum. They are building the largest battery manufacturing plant in the world, helping control production costs. They are establishing a network of charging stations that are free to owners. Their cars go more than 250 miles on a charge.

    How does BMW compare?

    You really should research the topic a bit before writing. You are embarrassing yourselves.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 9:21 PM, Petronilus wrote:

    Neither i3 or i8 comes even close to Tesla Model S in any critical parameter. Both fail on range with i8 having a totally silly EV range of 23 miles making it ridiculous for anyone wanting to go pure EV.

    Model S is superior in the combination of EV range, efficiency, drag coefficient, interior space, simplicity in drivetrain, super chargers, dashboard user interface, acceleration etc. etc.

    But BMW is a fair second and that is still something.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 9:50 PM, rocket7777 wrote:

    "IBM PCs with Apple computers. " lol... PC are WAY WAY BETTER.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 10:52 PM, one4dwin wrote:

    These clowns still comparing the i3 clown car to the the amazing Model S? So you have a new model by BMW and people order it because its a new model. And because a few more orders were placed than they expected to sell,that makes BMW leave Tesla in the dust?What a joke this article is.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 11:02 PM, MortallyWounded wrote:

    Maybe I missed it, but skimming through the comments I didn't see anyone mention one important fact: BMW is first and foremost a luxury car maker. Tesla is first and foremost an electric car maker. BMW will sell to the luxury market. Tesla is planning on selling to every market. Just because the Model S, Model X, and Roadster are outside of the financial grasp for the masses, doesn't mean every Tesla will be. Elon has already explained that the early models are no holds barred in order to showcase their capabilities, and that they have every intention of building less costly machines in the future. Germany may have invented the automobile, but America made it affordable. Oh, and does BMW plan on building charging stations around the globe for their owners to power up for free? Frankly, Frank, you missed the mark on virtually every level. Enjoy those kickbacks BMW is sending you in response to this horribly biased and completely nonsensical article.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 11:34 PM, jasmith909 wrote:

    While it's nice to see so much enthusiasm for Tesla, people need a reality check. Tesla is essentially a startup company. They're fighting an idealogical war with dealerships, and they've hardly made a dent in the market. They only have stores in a handful of states, and hardly sell at all internationally. I believe they have two showrooms in Japan, and one in Hong Kong (and I think they closed their Singapore location).

    BMW, on the other hand, is a financial giant, fully entrenched in the industry. They can afford to hire the best engineers from around the world -- which renders Tesla's engineering advantage moot -- and they can outspend Tesla in terms of marketing on a scale of 1,000 to 1. So whether or not the i8 is as good as the Tesla Model S Performance is irrelevant. The point is, they can afford to come out with a new model each year, and spend tons of money on research and development. Tesla, on the other hand, has only made two models in their entire existence as a company (the Model S & the Roadster), and those were both based off the chassis of other cars.

    So, really, there's no comparison. Who makes the better product isn't the question. There are plenty of crap products sold by giant companies that can afford to put the little guys, who make better quality products, out of business. And that's true in the car industry more so than any other. It's all about money, power, influence & government backing -- all things Tesla lacks, unfortunately. So, they've definitely got an uphill battle facing off against an industry leader like BMW.

  • Report this Comment On June 01, 2014, at 11:58 PM, SteveTG3 wrote:

    reality check jas?

    "they've hardly made a dent in the market"

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/155897-tesla-model-s-is-n...

    "hardly sell at all internationally"

    roughly half of their sales this year will be international, and next year international will be the majority of sales.

    "they (BMW) can afford to come out with a new model each year, and spend tons of money on research and development. Tesla, on the other hand, has only made two models in their entire existence"

    Tesla has put on the market 2 EVs with over 200 miles of range. BMW 0. The entire automobile industry excluding Tesla, 0.

    "(the Model S & the Roadster), and those were both based off the chassis of other cars."

    Completely false. The Model S was designed from the ground up by Tesla.

    "BMW is... entrenched in the industry"

    that one you got right, BMW has been entrenched in the internal combustion engine industry. nice showing on BMW's part to start the i series, but can their heart and soul let go of the ice age and transition to EVs? Tesla's heart and soul live for EVs.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 12:16 AM, axz055 wrote:

    I tried to look up the Deloitte survey mentioned in the article. I ended up finding a different one.

    It says most Americans interested in an EV want either a mid-size sedan or an SUV/crossover. Mid-size sedan was the #1 choice throughout most of the world. So what is BMW making? A hatchback the size of a Ford Fiesta and a 2-door coupe.

    Most expect a range of >200 miles. The i3, even with the range extender, can only go about 150. The i8 has a pathetic 23 mile electric range. For about a quarter of Americans, that won't even get them to work, let alone back home.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 1:14 AM, nnnnnnn wrote:

    tesla lovers think only tesla has potential in the EV market, acknowledge bmw's potential? never, every other car maker on earth? never

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 1:16 AM, chrischamb1 wrote:

    This idiot "author" is writing in the finest tradition of Rocco Pendummy! Write an outrageous headline and pray for clicks. The entire premise is flawed. Pre-orders with no deposits are worth about as much wings on an elephant!! Let's see how many ACTUALLY SELL IN THE US!! Forget about European sales figures....it's an Apple to Oranges comparison!! What ever happened to the real info that we sometimes got from MF??

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 2:03 AM, Zippa wrote:

    Well, I already see the i3 driving about in Europe and it look very good, we should not underestimate the excellent quality a engineering of the BMW Brand, Tesla will now never get traction in Europe and the BMW will get traction in the US, sadly Tesla can't match the power of BMW and other as a brand, BMW will complete on price which Tesla can't do even with the proposed new battery factory, I have been pondering if I should by Tesla shares for the past few month, I have decided not to buy shares in Tesla, the past three month slide in Tesla share price will continue, I would get out now before the stampede, best wishes to every fool.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 7:09 AM, stainlesssteel77 wrote:

    " This year, BMW will launch the i8, a hybrid electric supercar that, with a $135,000 price tag and top-shelf performance, takes direct aim at the Model S."

    You lost all credibility with this line, destroying any value in reading further.

    As your illogic is not obvious to you, I'll spell it out: the i8 is a HYBRID, not a pure EV, and it's $135k, vs $63k-130k Model S depending on options.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 8:18 AM, ToddRLockwood wrote:

    There seems to be a consistent theme in these comments. One detail I don't recall reading is BMW's option for those i3 owners considering a trip: Your BMW dealer will happily rent you a gasoline powered SUV!

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 8:28 AM, envpilot wrote:

    This article is a joke.

    You can't take any article seriously that puts the BMW i3 (or even the i8) in the same sentence.

    For the 100th thime, the i8 is a lame, over-priced plug-in hybrid with a pathetic 20 mile electric range.

    That's a downgraded Fiskar Karma and look what happened to Fiskar (ahhem, bankrupt).

    And the Karma had twice the electric range of the BMW i8.

    So does the Chevy Volt.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 8:31 AM, envpilot wrote:

    I'm a Tesla Model S (P85) owner and I would have not even considered the BMW i8 for a second if it was available when I bought my Tesla.

    Not even close.

    It's completely ridiculous to even compare the two.

    It's steam engine (BMW) vs. electric bullet train (Tesla).

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 8:39 AM, envpilot wrote:

    I doubt the author of the article did any kind of survey of potential buyers of the i8 vs Tesla.

    For one, I'm a Tesla Model S P85 owner and I would not have even considered the BMW i8 if it was available when I bought my car.

    Not even for a nanosecond.

    It's completely ridiculous to even compare the two.

    It's steam locomotive (BMW) vs. electric bullet train.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 8:45 AM, envpilot wrote:

    Why would anyone buy a BMW i3 vs a Nissan Leaf?

    They have the same range, they're both hideous but the Leaf is dirt cheap now.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 8:53 AM, LikeTesla wrote:

    Yes, BMW can increase production with a simple mental decision followed by a snap of the fingers?

    Did I miss BMW's announcement of a fully operational Bmmrrrgigafactory?? Oh yeah, I forgot its only Tesla Electric Vehicles that need to build a Gigafactory in order to increase production in a big way ..., the others rely on Flintstone Power!!

    I suppose since all BMW needs is a mental decision and snap of the fingers to increase production then the same is true for a BMW compatible high speed charging network on several continents!?!

    Yes, Tesla should be afraid ..., be very afraid!!

    This is true particularly since it is Tesla's stated goal to accelerate the adoption of Electric Vehicles ..., not necessarily just Tesla EV's!!

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 9:03 AM, LikeTesla wrote:

    By the way I have seen no sensible reason to pursue Fuel Cell Vehicles. What I see is to make them carbon neutral you would need huge amounts of excess power produced by Solar, Wind, and other renewables. This is true because research I've done indicates that you need to produce 4 kWh of power for every 1 kWh of power used by the Fuel Cell. So first achieve Solar power production or other renewable sufficient to meet general power demand by homes and manufacturing etc then generate four times that needed for driving Fuel Cell Vehicles miles. Also lets consider that every Fuel Cell charging station will cost over a $1,000,000 and people don't have them at there home. Plus you still have to pay cost similar to gasoline and you have mileage similar to EV. True you can currently refill more quickly. I'm sure there won't be any explosions?? So why engineer and build out expensive infrastruture support for another inefficient and wasteful means of transportation that will keep you shelling out the big bucks to operate it forever?? Personally I don't know unless its because you are still attached to someones nipple and sending them money every week. Believe this link represents a fundamental Physical truth. http://phys.org/news85074285.html

    Take a gander!!

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 11:40 AM, LikeTesla wrote:

    With respect to Fuel Cell Vehicles, aside from infrastructure not existing and fairly high price tag currently, there is also apparently an additional problem with them lasting very long. Thinking if I recall, some problem with them having corrosive characteristics that cause them to fail fairly early in life cycle or something of the sort.

  • Report this Comment On June 02, 2014, at 3:23 PM, JRUwing wrote:

    The author clearly lacks a basic understanding of the automotive industry and what Tesla is doing. BMW does not make a product yet that competes with the Model S, although I would say the i3 competes with the Leaf to a degree.

  • Report this Comment On June 04, 2014, at 10:02 AM, qsdfwcvqzer wrote:

    I recently learned that the i3's front trunk isn't even waterproof and BMW's official response is to make sure you put everything in a bag! What are they thinking, I have a small BMW (until Tesla makes a small car) but their brand name is eroding faster than I can comment on Tesla articles.

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