Tesla Beaten By BMW

Whilst Elon Musk’s Tesla seems to be good at grabbing headlines, it would seem that BMW is better at selling electric vehicles. The rec...


Whilst Elon Musk’s Tesla seems to be good at grabbing headlines, it would seem that BMW is better at selling electric vehicles. The recent launch of the i3 vehicle in the US of A is proven popular with American consumers where BMW sold more electric vehicles than Tesla in August. According to reports, BMW shipped a total of 1025 i3’s in August, up by 183% from July, whilst in the same period Tesla managed to shift a mere 600 of their flagship Model S sedan, a fall of 54% compared to the same month last year.

It has been argued that BMW managed to outsell Tesla only as most Model S sedans are shipped to Europe and Asia to establish a foothold there, but in Norway, where demand for Tesla products has been high, the i3 has beaten the Model S by 202 units to 183.

To match Tesla’s wider super-charging network, BMW recently announced it was expanding its network of charging stations across the country, beginning with California, where 100 charging stations should be operational next year. Additionally, the BMW’s charging stations use the standard SAE Combo 1 plug that also facilitates the EV’s of other manufacturers. EV’s of other manufacturers will be required to pay through an account maintained by ChargePoint.

Arguably, there is no real competition between the two cars as the i3 is clearly aimed more at the mass market and is priced at US$43,000 whilst the Model S is priced at US$70,000. The true test will come with the new Tesla Model 3, expected in 2017, which will be priced at US$35,000 and, like the i3, will target the mass market.

In order to make the Model 3 more affordable, Tesla will need to benefit from the US$5 billion ‘Gigafactory’ that it is building in Nevada, that will produce batteries which cost about 30% less than present; of course, BMW may well buy those batteries as well, making their offering cost even lower.

image: bmwblog.com

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