The Tesla Model S is, by far, the most well-equipped and capable electric vehicle on the road today, which leaves other contenders, such as BMW and Audi, scrambling to catch up.
One would think that, with the history of electric vehicles [EV], companies like General Motors, creator of the EV1 and Ultralight, or Toyota, creator of the Prius, would have created the market for them. Toyota Prius started the hybrid electric vehicle [HEV] revolution, but it was left to a startup company, Tesla Motors, to create the market for EVs. With the Tesla Model S, other manufacturers have been forced to sit up and pay attention, even those that don’t produce EVs, that is, all of them.
In spite of the fact that the Tesla Model S is a performance vehicle, its $70,000+ price tag, as well as its high-tech features, places it in the sights of luxury vehicle buyers. In fact, it has been outselling many luxury vehicle brands, including Lexus, BMW, Audi, and others. Now that the market is created, and Tesla Motors sits on the top of a mountain of one, what are other automakers going to do about it?
BMW’s new “i” lineup could provide the answer, but I don’t think so. So far, the BMW i3 and i8 are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles [PHEV]. Even if the i3 and i8 were pure EVs, they still don’t fall into the same category as the Tesla Model S, which Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, was meant to attract BMW 3-Series types. Insiders say that BMW might be working on something in between the i3 and i8 PHEVs, possibly called the BMW i5, which might even be pure EV. A new BMW i5, if it exists, would be bigger than the i3 and cheaper than the i8, but could it contend with the Tesla Model S?
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