In an interview with Business Insider, CEO of BMW North America Ludwig Willisch, talks about the “war” between BMW and Tesla. Before jumping into the comments made by Willisch, allow us to give you the background story.
Musk was asked to give his opinion on the i3 and after a fairly long chuckle, Musk said the i3 has ways to go. “I’m glad to see did BMW is bringing in electric car to market. That’s cool. There’s room to improve on the i3 and I hope that they will.”
Furthermore, Laughter inside his room caused more giggling from the Tesla CEO. It lasted about 10 seconds. He then eventually finished his speech.
In a more gracious note, Willisch explained to Business Insider (and Musk) why the i3 is “the ultimate driving machine among the EVs.”
When we asked Willisch how the i3 compares to the Model S, he started off by explaining how BMW makes its little electric ride. “You need to look at the whole concept,” he said.
“We start off by producing carbon fiber in Moses Lake, Washington, with hydropower. Then we use fully recyclable materials to build the car. We build the car with wind power. So the whole production cycle is fully sustainable.”
Meanwhile, he said, “others build electric cars the conventional way,” he said, adding, “you need to look at the carbon footprint of the whole thing. I would dare say that nobody’s at this point in time where we are, as far as the whole production process is concerned.” (We got Willisch to mention Tesla by name only once.)
Willisch also explained that by weighing less than the Tesla S, the BMW i3 offers great fun on the road. “What you feel is a normal feel of a car, yet you have the instant acceleration that an electric motor will give you,” including the instant torque, Willisch said. “That’s really great fun.”
BMW and Tesla are not yet directly competing for the same segment, but within two years additional “i” models, and most likely other Teslas, will run head-to-head in the premium EV segment.