Is Tesla really that far ahead of the Germans?

Interesting | October 11th, 2015 by 94
Model Tesla X images 750x500

The Frankfurt Motor Show that recently passed showcased a new electric vehicle from each major German automaker except for BMW. Audi debuted its cool-looking e-tron …

The Frankfurt Motor Show that recently passed showcased a new electric vehicle from each major German automaker except for BMW. Audi debuted its cool-looking e-tron Quattro Concept, Porsche showed its gorgeous and mighty Mission E and Mercedes-Benz had its strange yet tantalizing IAA Concept. All of these cars are meant to be the flagship EV models for each respective brand. All of them boast a decent range, of around 250-310 miles or so, and good performance. All of these cars are not yet scheduled to be released for at least a couple of years. But the company from Silicon Valley, Tesla, has had cars like this for quite some time and it seems like it might be far ahead of where the Germans are, technology wise.

Model Tesla X images2 750x422

Tesla most recently debuted its Model X SUV with its silly Falcon Doors and Ludicrous Mode acceleration. The automotive world went crazy when it saw the Model X. Its 250 mile range, 3.2 second 0-60 mph acceleration and fancy cabin tech make it seem as if it could be one of the best EVs, if not the best, on the market. If that’s the case, Tesla is the undisputed king of the EV and is leaving the Germans in its wake, as each German car set to compete with Tesla isn’t even out yet. So it would seem that the Germans are just chasing Tesla’s coattails. But is that really the case?

audi e tron quattro concept images 01 750x563

Audi e-tron Quattro Concept

There’s no doubt that what Tesla did with the Model S and Model X is exceptional work for today’s current world. But are they really cars meant for the future? Elon Musk and Tesla are building Supercharger networks all over both the country and the world. These Superchargers are meant to charge most of the battery up in only 30 minutes, giving its cars a further overall range. But is that really enough? 30 minutes is a still long time to refuel a car and it shows the current ceiling on battery technology.

Another issue with claiming Tesla to be the undisputed king of the EV is that Tesla’s cars are great now, but what about in the future? The Germans seem to be creating their cars for the future. The Audi e-tron Quattro uses Audi’s latest lightweight architecture and new battery technology to give it a range of 310 miles in an SUV that is both bigger and more luxurious than the Model X. BMW’s i Division is exploring lightweight chassis technology and new battery technology as well and is making its chassis’ out of carbon fiber. Porsche’s Mission E is toying with 800-volt charging capabilities, which would allow a full charge in 15 minutes. 800-volt charging isn’t currently available for most homes, but the idea is to create cars for the future. All three of those cars will be debuting far after the Model X has been out, and even received a couple of Tesla’s Over-The-Air updates, but they’re all developed for the future, to help rid the EV of its current shackles, not for today’s current world.

Porsche Mission E Concept

Porsche Mission E Concept

The Tesla Model S and Model X are very impressive, but only on paper. In reality, both vehicles are massive and heavy, built on old-school style platforms with only massive battery packs stuffed in them to give them their range. There’s not nearly as much clever engineering going on as there is in the German’s and there’s nothing to say that they are our future. They use current charging technology, dated battery tech (in comparison to the Germans) and they’re too heavy to be efficient. Saying they are ultra efficient because they have a massive battery is like taking a Ram 2500 diesel, turning its bed into a massive fuel tank and claiming its ultra efficient because it can drive a million miles. That’s essentially what Tesla does with its cars, by stuffing them with massive battery packs, making them big and heavy, and calling them the future.

The Germans might not have competitive cars at the moment, but the cars all big German companies are working on are cars designed to eliminate the issues of today’s current EVs; range, charging and lightweight technology. Tesla’s cars are excellent right now, but Tesla will need to step its game up massively, with much lighter weight chassis’ and far better range and charging numbers, in order to keep up with what the Germans create in a couple of years.

94 responses to “Is Tesla really that far ahead of the Germans?”

  1. Chris Llana says:

    Tesla’s current batteries have double the energy density of what’s in the German i3. Were the range figures you quoted for the Audi/Porsche concept cars EPA ranges (the Model S has been driven more than 500 miles on a charge, but so what?)? And how much range do EVs really need, when the average American drives just 29 miles per day, and 80% of Americans drive less than 40 miles? How much will the Audi e-tron SUV concept weigh when it comes out in three years or so? Porsche said the Mission E concept had not yet been approved for production, so I guess no specifics.

  2. Cristopher says:

    With government subsidies maybe yes, but without government subsidies…

  3. CMCNestT . says:

    The Wehrmacht is way ahead of Tesla when it comes to press releases and vaporware.

    A Tesla killer is perpetually 3 years into the future.

    • afterglow2 says:

      Something that can compete with the current Teslas may be 3-5 years in to the future, but do you really think that Tesla will be sleeping in the meantime?
      Then I rather order a Tesla S 85D (I did it in August) and sell my Audi Q5 with the now famous VW 2,0 diesel engine. I get my new car in 4-5 weeks time, can’t wait! 😃

      • JeffG says:

        You will LOVE it. Got my 85D in May.

        This article is hilarious. Comparing real world tech to “maybe” “down the road”…c’mon. Tesla is always developing and leading. You think all of these crazy EV concepts would be even talked about if not for Tesla?

        • dc says:

          I don’t think any of them would exist were it not for gov’t. regs. On a per mile $ basis, none can compete with my ’09 Hyundai Accent.

        • Dave says:

          Of course they wouldn’t. That’s why any concept car from any major dealer is vaporware., They can’t really push them or sell them, they’ll eat into their other models’ sales. The only way they win will be to pushing the all-electric vehicles and get away from oil and gas. Then maybe they have a chance.

    • Michael Christopher Frazier IV says:

      As soon as more model S’s fall apart, like the roadster predecessor, and there’s a substitute e performance brand – it’s gone.

  4. dogphlap dogphlap says:

    The Tesla Model S has a massive battery and it is a big contributor to the 2.1 ton total weight but it was never stuffed into the platform. The battery is the heart of a Model S, the rest of the vehicle is built around it and is far from being old school (or heavy without the cells). That battery and its case provides stiffness for the whole vehicle, side intrusion crash mitigation, low centre of mass and eliminate the threat of thermal runaway should a cell internally short circuit. It should be borne in mind that weight though undesirable is not such a major problem for electric vehicles as it is for others since 80% or so of the energy used to accelerate that mass is recoverable under regenerative braking (an option only available to electric cars).
    German engineering should never be underestimated but so far we are still waiting. Currently Porsche and Audi make all their real income from internal combustion engined cars, hard to see them fully committing to electric at this point and probably not until it is too late.

  5. Bryan MacKenzie says:

    What I find interesting, is that the “up and comers” (although crazy well established in ICE) throw out these numbers with ZERO success reaching them in the real world. Who cares about some promise of 800v charging, when it is not available or proven. To me, it seems the Germans are just throwing around meaningless numbers. They HOPE to have that range, and chargeability. Real world, good luck, and BTW, Tesla will be way ahead by that point. But I suppose the Germans (and everyone else) can just buy Tesla batteries. That is the whole point, is it not? LONG TSLA :) Worlds a changing. Join the revolution

  6. CDspeed says:

    BMW may have pioneered CFRP, but they applied it to the i3 that is no more capable then a Nissan Leaf. So did it help having CFRP, no, because they weren’t willing to go far enough with the powertrain. And Porsche’s Turbo Charger 800 volt charging, is not meant for household use! It is meant for public Level 3 charging, it’s Porsche trying to compete against Tesla’s Super Charger network. And if you look at the Mission E, and the e-tron Quattro’s battery, and powertrain they are very similar to Tesla’s. Tesla has the lead, and the longer they go unchallenged only gives them the time to grow. Their first attempt at building an electric sports sedan is amazingly well done, I don’t think they’re going to stop innovating going forward.

    • Ex-msft says:

      And BMW killed the i3 by putting that stupid, absurdly low capacity gas tank in it so that they could get the cali subsidy for cars with more electric range than gas. Have a gas engine for range extension but putting less then 3 gallons is just ridiculous.

  7. Ryan says:

    Tesla started rolling out their liquid cooled super charging cables last quarter, which will let them supercharge twice as fast as they do now. That gives you the same recharge times as Porsche’s 800V system, but instead of a power point slide 3 years from now, it’s happening today.

  8. carmiturchick says:

    Tesla has made huge improvements in the Model S in the last three years: added all-wheel drive, added about 300 HP, dropped 0-60 from 4.4 to 2.8 seconds, upgraded seats, added auto-pilot features (as of Thursday)…and this author assumes they will make no more improvements while they wait for the Germans to release their cars three years from now? The Audi SUV may be “bigger and more luxurious” when released…I think the Model X looks pretty darn luxurious now…but it seats four while the X seats seven. What do they use all that interior space for? Running a huge column of batteries down the middle of the vehicle like idiots. Will the Audi tow 5,000 lbs? Not likely. Will you be able to slide a sheet of plywood from the hardware store in the back? Highly dubious.

    The main risk Tesla faces is that someone comes up with a leap ahead in battery technology. There may be that someone and GM is an investor in the company, not the Germans. Tesla has its own battery scientists hard at work and there really is no knowing who will win that race (possibly several comparable technologies),

    • jimmy says:

      Tesla interior is the biggest rubbish in the world. I think Musk should change Tesla Motors for Government Motors or Subsidy Motors

      • Jeff says:

        Are you serious or just horribly misinformed? Tesla paid back the government loan YEARS early (You know, the one GM and Ford are still paying on). And the EV subsidies are available to all manufacturers, not just tesla. Of course, the Oil and Gas industry gets no subsidies either. ………

        • dc says:

          I thought Ford refused loans?

          • dogphlap dogphlap says:

            Ford got $6B, Nissan got $1.4B or so and Tesla got the least i.e. almost $0.5B. These were DOE development loans from a scheme introduced by President Bush some years earlier. Tesla used theirs to tool up for production of the Model S and so far is the only one to pay its loan back, early and with interest. GM was not eligible for one of those loans because it was bankrupt but they got $50B from the US government and another $10B from the Canadian government to bail them out.

          • Mike Wharton says:

            Really? You don’t think Tesla can compete on the level field with other auto manufacturers…like they do in every other country in the world, and consistently out sell the equivalent German marques?

          • JeffreyR says:

            The new government policies will definitely cut into the boon Tesla was enjoying. But, the policies will put everyone on equal footing. So as long as Tesla offers a car people find interesting and enjoyable, they will continue to sell. The good news on a pure BEV is that it costs a lot less to operate and maintain. So a Tesla’s Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) is much less than a comparably priced ICE vehicle.

        • jimmy says:

          Why BMW dont need subsidies? why Audi, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, Kia and many others dont need subsidies? Why Tesla sold only in countries where electric cars have a lot subsidies, tax reliefs and various privileges? you dont see what government must do to sell electric cars? tesla is toy for big kids. Toyota HydroCell is future. BMW is woking on own HydroCell car, Honda show in last week own HydroCell concept.

          • Mike Wharton says:

            I’m sorry, you are misinformed. H2 fuel cell is just a silly idea. Massively expensive and not as good a solution as batteries. Look it up.

          • dc says:

            Doesn’t BMW get incentives for their American plant? I thought that was universal nowadays for manufacturers and local gov’ts.

          • Schm says:

            You need to do some research on liquid hydrogen. Or just google “liquid hydrogen fueling stations” and see how there’s less than 200 nationwide; most concentrated in California or for research purposes, and how hydrogen is unstable and difficult and expensive to transport.

          • dogphlap dogphlap says:

            There are no subsidies in Australia for electric vehicles.
            I’m Australian and I bought a Tesla (ordered April 9th 2015, picked it up 17th of September 2015).

    • Marshall says:

      Tesla X looks like chinese sh*t

  9. Darko says:

    There is one area where all these German concepts are definitely far behind Tesla – long-range, affordable, mass market EV (Model 3); in order to have mass production a Gigafactory is required – and where are plans for such battery factory for these German cars? It seems only marginal production will be possible – that is far behind Tesla plans and realities.

  10. James says:

    Is Tesla that far ahead? Absolutely
    The best the Germans can do is come out with a either niche market electric car with no charging network or a set of plug in cars with wimpy electric-only ranges.
    The Germans need to catch up if they are to help save the atmosphere – Use the Tesla Supercharger standard with CHAdeMO Level 2 compatibility and forget about SAE/CCS and come out wighe some serious 200 mile range pure EVs.

    • dc says:

      The German electrics are niche because thus far so is the electric market, there is no mass EV market, nor proof that it would be sustainable. Where EVs are concerned, this could just be history repeating a century ago, particularly if there is no improvement in battery tech.

      • James says:

        1 out of every 4 cars sold in Norway is an EV. 50% of drivers in the UK considering a plug in as their next vehicle. It is just a matter of time for everyone else including Germany. Meanwhile Tesla continues to take market share away from the luxury Audi and Mercedes brands

        • dc says:

          Those are all great points, but EV globally is marginal.

          • Schm says:

            The cheapest EV available is the Mitsubishi Golf Cart/I-MEV, and closely followed by the Nissan Leaf. Both of which are decent EVs, but rubbish cars.

            Worldwide, people are much less environmentally cautious, and in certain places like China and Africa charging stations are few and far between.

          • Fraser Smith says:

            “and in certain places like China … charging stations are few and far between.”

            Seriously? In Shanghai there are already 9 supercharger stations, forecast to be 15-20 in the next year. Within the year it will be possible to travel between all major population centres in China using the Tesla Supercharger Network.

            Even in the remote mountainous region of Yunnan province, we found Tesla chargers installed.

          • Schm says:

            HK has the highest density of super chargers in the world.

            http://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/1831675/hong-kong-has-worlds-highest-density-tesla-superchargers

            The rest of the country? I disagree with your assessment of the prevalence of the S/C network.

            http://www.carnewschina.com/2015/02/25/tesla-in-china-part-2-the-problem-about-supercharging-stations/

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-25/tesla-s-most-excellent-adventure-china-edition

            Tesla has several problems in the mainland market, as I see it- but again, I’m just an outside observer who has never been to China, but knows a ton about cars, EVs, and a little about the Chinese market. It seems that Chinese drivers are worried about being stuck in one of the massive traffic jams known to occur and running out of charge. Secondly, that the back seats are not up to the standards offered by other automakers, as many wealthy Chinese preferred to be driven. Tesla has upgraded the seats in the Model S partially in response to this. Finally, and this is not just an exclusive Chinese problem, is that so many people live in apartments or other multi-family housing that doesn’t have the requisite 240V charger.

            http://gas2.org/2015/02/24/teslas-china-problems-summed-one-picture/

          • Fraser Smith says:

            After my previous comment, I did some research on Tesla’s own website on the number of superchargers available.

            In the Bay Area, Fremont (Tesla’s home turf), Palo Alto, SF : 3 superchargers
            In LA: 6 superchargers
            In London (within the M25): 7 superchargers
            In Shanghai: 9 superchargers.

            That’s not “few and far between”.

            I do agree with you about the issue of multi-family housing, but, if you can afford a Tesla then you probably either live in a house with a garage, or you can also afford your own dedicated off road parking too. In which case you can still have a Tesla charger installed. I’ve seen them, on out door parking.

            As for Chinese drivers being worried about being stuck in massive jams. Yeah, I saw that video last week too. There’s no difference between an EV stuck in a jam and an ICE driven car in the same jam. Why should the EV suddenly run out of charge any more than the ICE car should suddenly run out of gas? Not an issue (except in your imagination).

            So yes, you’ve never been to China. That shows. You know a ton about cars and EVs? Sorry, that doesn’t show. I’ve been working in China since 1990 and have lived here full time for over six years. The exponential growth in EVs and PHEVs over the last 18 months has been incredible. I can make the 15 minute walk to my daughter’s school in the morning and I’ll guarantee you that I’ll see at least 3 or 4 plugins and often one or two Tesla’s during that short walk.

            Now, time to move on, I think I’ve already wasted far too much time on a barely literate fanboy’s blog post that must be giving BMW nightmares from the bad publicity that it has stirred up.

      • JeffreyR says:

        Lead-acid batteries from just a few decades ago have been replaced by Ni-Cad, then Li-ion batteries. The novelty of both electric and ICE cars from a century ago has been replaced by a core place in our lives and economy. The Tesla Roadster had a 56-kWh battery pack in 2009. The Modes S/X now has up to a 90-kWh battery pack. That’s six years. Once the Gigafactory comes online in a couple of years, and Tesla moves to the 20700 form-factor cells, they should have even more juice.

        The EV Market is niche for now. But, by the time Tesla is producing 500K vehicles per year (Elon’s plan is 2020), many automakers will be on their second or third generation of EVs. BMW already announced this year its plans to have at some electric component be part of all of their cars in 10 years or less.

  11. Kristoffer Helle says:

    Yes, Tesla is far ahead. Won’t touch any bmw before they have OTA updates and goes like hell on electricity

  12. Steve Sasman says:

    You lost me (again) at “The Tesla’s are very impressive, but only on paper”. Yeah, just like Kate Upton is hot, but only on paper…WTF?

  13. Maikel De Bakker says:

    Really BMW? So #Dieselgate isnt enough for you guys? Well wow. you guys are just dumb. Just keep on telling yourself these lies and you will start believing them. You better clean up your act BMW or the rest of the world will clean you out of the automotive industry as we do not need you. As your just a fossil. An old relic of an area long past. You will be an example to our kids on how stupid the industry was, blinded by greed. The current business models dont apply to our world any more. 200+ moving parts that can wear down, External and internal cooling systems, lubrication systems, etc etc. We have been there and we have done that. Tesla even gave out the patents out for free to be used by you! And your still to ignorant to see the iceberg ahead. Wake up BMW. Your area has long gone! Time to move on!

    • Michael says:

      Dieselgate is leading only that exhaust emission regulations is not working. People want more diesel than electric cars. And you cant change that. Tesla is nothing near VW and dieselgate not change this. Not only near VW but Mercedes, BMW, Ford, Skoda and many others. Tesla is toy for big kids.

    • dc says:

      What does dieselgate have to do with BMW?

  14. Stefan Guillebeau says:

    Who says the Model S is heavy actually never drove it :) I drove a BMW 125i before, now owning a Model S since 1 year. With it’s power, the regen brake, low COG as well as the very smooth steering you forget about any gravity! It feels far lighter than the BMW 125i with its 1500kg! Every tesla driver will agree on that :)

  15. TL says:

    Ha ha… “Tesla impresses only on paper”? I thought Tesla is the one on the road, and the German concepts are on paper, isn’t it.

    I bet the writer has never driven a Tesla.

    I can’t imagine how it feels to see a young wiz beat you in your own game. The most natural human reaction is denial.

    • JeffreyR says:

      @TL +1
      An utterly ridiculous statement. Plenty of things to question or critique w/o making things up that make you look so foolish. Author and editor should be ashamed on that one. I have no idea what they were even trying to say w/ that statement.

  16. TL says:

    Please please please, BMW, lean into it.

    Stop making awkward, half-baked, toy cars (i3, i8) that look flashy. Start making real EVs for real people to buy and drive.

    You can.
    Be a real competitor for Tesla, please.

    Anytime soon.

  17. PaddyB says:

    I don’t imagine the next generation Tesla Model S or Tesla Model X will be any better than the current models. I don’t suppose they will be any lighter or have any better batteries in terms of range and charging speed. It’s not as if they have any great engineers or an understanding of battery technology. Of course, BMW with its great intellect, and experience of building the mighty i3 will come whooshing past Tesla. They will show Tesla how a battery powered car should be done.

    • Chris Llana says:

      Many of the creative, talented EV executives, managers, and engineers who created the i3 and i8 have left BMW (Herbert Diess, Siegfried Pint, and others). Why? New management came into power—people who were more comfortable with the ICE status quo, and they decided to stop building new i cars. The EV enthusiasts at BMW had no choice but to leave if they wanted to keep creating innovative electric cars. So that great EV intellect and experience at BMW is not going to “whoosh” past Tesla, because it no longer exists.

      • dc says:

        I thought this was one of the issues they are collaborating on with Toyota? I wonder if the historic significance of i brand will be the mass production of carbon fibre.

  18. darkpill says:

    Yes, Tesla really is that far ahead of the Germans.

  19. Vurimo says:

    Tesla fanboys are here! be carefully!

    • CDspeed says:

      People who have read real information about Tesla, know when their reading information that isn’t true and being used against Tesla. You don’t need to be a “fanboy” to realize this.

    • JeffreyR says:

      I may not have the credibility or writing chops of @Red Sage, but I have his passion and interest in Tesla. Does the fact that I read a lot about related technology make me a fanboy? No, as a matter of fact I am often critical of Tesla. But I do agree w/ Elon that FCV are silly and are a play by self-interested parties to continue the fossil fuel age.

      Everyone should be full of care (or careful) when they post, and try to add new information to the discussion. Misinformation or name-calling does not help w/ the thing I think we should all be fans of Tesla for, their mission statement:

      “To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport….”

      http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/mission-tesla

  20. TW says:

    This article is ridiculous – its all hypothetical and pro-German companies. The facts currently due stand behind Tesla, and yes they are that far ahead:

    1. The estimated miles stated from Audi for example, 310, are likely the European idea estimate which is lower than the EPA estimate by far.

    2. Batteries are heavy yes, but there is no way that Germans are leading any development that is creating anything lighter. If anything Tesla is doing that and building the biggest facility in world to create its own batteries. If anything, German makers will need to source packs from Tesla like Mercedes already does in its main EV case.

    3. All the comparable EV cars by German companies (the BMW i series doesn’t even compare yet) are just prototypes.

    4. The charging network is somewhat key for road trips – Telsa is way ahead and can improve with new tech as faster DC/DC charging allows. They are way ahead in sourcing locations, etc.

    5. There is no way that an Audi or especially Porsche EV is going to be reasonably priced. At best they will be comparable to the high end X and S, with the 70-90K X and S models being cheaper. They will be way more expensive than the Model III that while is also a prototype to be revealed next March, probably has a better chance at wide release than any German prototypes.

    • warior says:

      These comments are ridiculous – its all hypothetical and pro-Tesla.

      • JeffreyR says:

        No, some are just a little over-stated.

        1) No reason not to think a European company would use European standards to estimate range. It is possible they may produce a battery pack that has a better range than Tesla. But, Tesla has shown that they are investing in and improving battery technology steadily over time.

        2) German companies have not announced (not the same as “no way”) any plans to build battery cell or battery pack production facilities like Tesla has actually started building in Reno, the Gigafactory.

        3) Key phrase is “All the comparable EV cars [sic]” which makes it true. Another way to say that is, all other German EVs that have 200+ miles of electric range are merely prototypes.

        4) No other manufacturer has a comparable charging network to Tesla. Period.

        5) This is conjecture based on the Average Sales Price of Audi and Porsche vehicles. Porsche in particular does not play in the low-end market.

        While the above does paint a pretty positive picture for Tesla, most of the statements are simply facts, too.

  21. Stephan says:

    Really funny article, I can only assume it is meant as sarcasm against German car makers.
    I would love if any of the German cars makers starts delivering anything close to Tesla. I have been owning only German cars the last 10 years, but moved to Tesla one year ago because there is no other EV alternative as the main car in a family.

  22. Show us production cars VS production cars. Concept cars does not count

  23. StanO5 says:

    The Germans are way ahead of Tesla when it comes to cheating on the emissions tests.

  24. Compare production cars vs production cars. Consept cars does’nt count.

  25. Alan Dean Foster says:

    I wish the Germans well, but here’s my problem, and why I drive a Tesla now.
    I can’t buy a car that’s built in the future.

  26. Alan Dean Foster says:

    Meanwhile Renault/Nissan, with the Zoe and the Leaf, are quietly beavering away at making practical EV city cars.

  27. Ex-msft says:

    All these tesla competitors are years in the future, and in that time Tesla will make further improvements. Tesla’s cars are practical and available today, they actually work and are out in the world. Improvements that are possible in the 3 or 4 years out Porsce cars like 800v charging would be welcome in one sense, because it would make charging faster, but that’s going to be much much harder to actually roll out in the world than the superchargers that tesla has already built all over the world. Tesla can and has built their technology in hundreds, maybe thousands of places by now. When Porsche has a single 800v charging station in the wild, we’ll know it’s a real competitor. Same thing for that awesome looking car they showed. Does it even drive?

    • JeffreyR says:

      “When Porsche has a single 800v charging station in the wild, we’ll know it’s a real competitor.”

      Actually I would say when Porsche has over 500 charging stations in the wild….

      http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

      • Ex-msft says:

        Yes. But I was trying to point out 800v is much harder than the power that Tesla needs for a supercharger. 500+ tesla to 0 for Porsche.

        • JeffreyR says:

          Good point. I guess I would change my re-phrase to “When Porsche has at least a single functional 800V station in the wild, we’ll know they are serious about competing.”

          I think that captures what you were getting at while also not overstating what a single charging station means.

  28. disqus_93AE3RFoBu says:

    Tesla’s achievements are ‘only impressive on paper’? Funniest line ever, considering the competition hasn’t produced anything – all the ‘Tesla Killers’ only exist on paper. Real car vs. trash talk.

    If Tesla hadn’t taken the market by storm, do you think any one of these German companies would be talking about producing an electric car?

  29. Dr. Dean Dauger says:

    The answer is: Yes, Tesla is really that far ahead of all the German carmakers. Tell them: put your money where your mouth is and sell a 200+-mile BEV today, now, to the public; otherwise quit blabbering then do your homework until you do have one for sale.

    The real comparison is that the Germans might produce their first 200+-mile BEV in at least 2019, equivalent to Tesla’s first such BEV in 2007 (the Roadster), so therefore the Germans are at best 12 years behind. If they could catch up, they should have done so already, and gas-car makers are financially unmotivated to make long-range BEVs because it would disrupt their gas-car cash cow, the thing that keeps them profitable.

    I feel compelled to respond to this hubris-filled article because I was a passionate BMW M3 owner for over a decade, until I experienced and purchased a Tesla Model S P85 myself. I found that this BEV exceeded the experience of any car before and yet was perfectly practical for my family, flipping my perception of my M3 from a joy into a costly embarassment. So I sold the M3, making the S my sole daily driver, and I see no reason to go back:

    http://tesla.dauger.com/gasfree.html

    The Germans are missing 3 major components of a compelling BEV strategy:

    1. A 200-mile BEV on sale to the public: Tesla learned a lot of lessons from the Roadster that incumbents have yet to experience. Except for those who built BMW’s i series and Nissan Leaf, gas car engineers think you can just substitute a motor for an engine and a battery for a gas tank. That’s a costly mistake, and they’ll only learn the hard way.

    2. A continent-spanning fast-charging network: The Germans have no plans or commitment. 800V does not make a network. Tesla’s 500 sites and growing cross the US and Europe:

    http://supercharge.info

    3. An inexpensive battery source: The Germans have no plans or commitment. Tesla is building a Gigafactory, and ahead of schedule.

    So when Tesla has all 3, the Germans will still have only 0, zilch to offer the public. And now that VW’s CEO is halting all non-essential projects to spend dozens of billions of dollars (or Euros) fixing “dieselgate”, we can no longer take any BEV offering by Audi, VW, or Porsche seriously. That leaves MB and BMW with a chance to leapfrog other Germans, but not Tesla.

  30. Stephen says:

    This is a very good piece of propaganda – would do well in North Korea.

  31. ThatsJustHowISeeIt says:

    It’s staggering how far behind the Germans have gotten with EV technology. The Model S came out in 2012 with 2009 technology and the Germans will not have anything to match that it seems for at least another 2 years. By then Tesla would have improved their product offerings further.

    It seems the Germans are too high on gasoline fumes to build a modern car. They are increasingly starting to look like old Detroit compared to Tesla.

  32. iNoob says:

    It’s funny to read all the comments regarding Germans being far behind technology-wise. A EV isn’t any more difficult to build than a laptop, really. The Germans have the know-how to build good cars, and they will step their game up on EV when the time is ready, most people still want a regular combustion engine, I’m having problems seeing why BMW or any other German manufacturer should use big money on development of an EV now, when the technology is much cheaper tomorrow. If you people know so good, please go start your own car brand if it’s so easy ;)

    Tesla is far behind on everything besides the range! Interior is piece of shit, it’s expensive, it’s not possible to take it on a track and race and their design language reminds of Chrysler in the mid ’90.

  33. A_Extremist says:

    All I can say is that in the last three years my family has replaced a BMW 760i V12 with a Model S, a 550i with a Yesla P85+ and for good measure purchased a Yesla P85D. In the next 60 days we will replace an X5 with a Tesla Model X P90DL and replace the original Model S (that replaced the 760i) with a Model X P90DL.

    While BMW screwed around with hydrogen and gas electric bizarre combinations we went from being 100% BMW owners to being 100% Tesla owners. Five Tesla’s by year end.

    You can only wait so long for paper cars to be real. I like driving real cars and Tesla happens to make real “cool” cars.

  34. Dr. Dean Dauger says:

    The answer is: Yes, Tesla is really that far ahead of all the German carmakers. Tell them: put your money where your mouth is and sell a 200+-mile BEV today, now, to the public; otherwise quit blabbering then do your homework until you do have one for sale.

    The real comparison is that the Germans might produce their first 200+-mile BEV in at least 2019, equivalent to Tesla’s first such BEV in 2007 (the Roadster), therefore the Germans are at best 12 years behind. If they could catch up, they should have done so already, and gas-car makers are financially unmotivated to make long-range BEVs because it would disrupt their gas-car cash cow, the thing that keeps them profitable.

  35. […] no secret that Tesla is considered the gold-standard in the world of electric vehicles by many. It’s the EV […]

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