Does Mercedes’ Tesla fighter put pressure on BMW?

BMW i, News | September 6th, 2015 by 10
Electric Mercedes Benz SLS AMG 750x500

Mercedes-Benz has recently announced its plans, to German publication Auto Motor und Sport, to create a Tesla fighting pure EV with a range of up …

Mercedes-Benz has recently announced its plans, to German publication Auto Motor und Sport, to create a Tesla fighting pure EV with a range of up to 311 miles. This would be further than any other EV on the market if the Stuttgart-based company could pull it off. Mercedes also claims that such a vehicle will be built on an adaptive platform, meaning the technology could be scaled up or down to create other models.  “. Sure, sometimes even we are working on an intelligent concept for a highly attractive electric vehicle with 400 to 500 km range (249 – 311 miles).” said Thomas Weber, Chief Development Officer at Daimler.

Mercedes-Benz SLS electric

When asked if this upcoming Tesla fighter would be based on the A or B Class, Weber said “Perhaps, but perhaps greater, because our innovative approach will naturally be used not only for a single vehicle..” So this upcoming vehicle should be built on some sort of adaptive platform to be used elsewhere in the future. This seems pretty set in stone, that Mercedes-Benz will be producing some sort of pure EV luxury sedan to compete with Tesla and will have a further range. Does this put pressure on BMW to do something similar?

Fans of the Bavarian brand have been asking, and in some ways begging, for BMW to create some sort of Tesla fighter, possibly dubbed a BMW i5. While BMW seems more content on producing highly efficient plug-in hybrids at the moment, instead of pure EVs, it isn’t impossible to think that BMW to create such a car. The Bavarians have already learned much from the BMW i3 and could translate that into something bigger and more powerful with a greater range. If it were just Tesla creating full EV luxury cars, I could see BMW being content with the i3 as its only pure EV. But now that Mercedes-Benz, and even Audi, want to get involved in the EV game, it seems as if BMW must if it wants to stay competitive.

bmw i5 rendering 750x500

BMW i5 Rendering

Tesla is creating its upcoming Model X and has announced that a new Model 3 will be on the way. Mercedes-Benz is talking of creating something similar and Audi has plans to create an EV SUV, currently dubbed the e-tron Quattro Concept. So it almost seems as if BMW’s hand is being forced. Without a larger, more luxurious, EV to compete, it might lose the EV battle to its fierce competitors. BMW most certainly has the means to create such a car, and the i Division is arguably the best in the business at it, but it just depends on if BMW is serious about EVs or wants to stay with plug-in hybrids for the foreseeable future.

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