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 (OTC:BMWYY) 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. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.