Can BMW Fend Off The Charge of the Tesla Model 3? – Part 2

BMW i | April 25th, 2016 by 38
BMW i5 rendering 750x500

In last week’s post, we looked at the impact that Tesla’s Model S has had on the sales of competing vehicles in the large luxury …

In last week’s post, we looked at the impact that Tesla’s Model S has had on the sales of competing vehicles in the large luxury segment in the US. That set the table for the question of whether or not the Model 3 can have equal or perhaps even greater success in the entry level, premium segment when it hits the streets sometime in the end of 2017 or early 2018. That segment has been owned by BMW’s 3-Series for decades, and BMW isn’t going to just give it up without a fight.

But what exactly can they do? The Model 3 has captured the imagination of the public and Tesla has received over 400,000 reservations in the first three weeks since the reservation process has opened. That staggering number has undoubtedly caused a few sleepless nights for product planners of various OEMs. In fact, if we look at theory of Diffusion of Innovations, the interest in the Model 3 would absolutely prove that the electric vehicle market has now moved beyond the innovators and early adopters, and we are now well into the early majority phase. That’s good news for Tesla, but is BMW also ready to capitalize on the inevitable market shift we are witnessing?

BMW i5 rendering 750x423

The short answer is yes, they absolutely can. In fact they are probably positioned better than any other OEM to do so because of the tremendous investment that they have made in BMW i. They’ve poured billions into the i division, and it wasn’t just for the i3 and i8. Lessons learned working with CFRP, aluminum and a variety of sustainable materials and manufacturing processes will be carried into future plug-ins. In fact, it’s doubtful any auto manufacturer has spent more restructuring the company in preparation for the shift to electrics, than BMW has over the past seven years.

However, the remarkable Model 3 reservation list probably indicates that they need to accelerate their EV programs and bring some vehicles to market a little sooner than they might have planned if they want to minimize defection from the brand. The good news for BMW is that Tesla can have a million reservations, and that won’t mean they can actually make the cars fast enough to satisfy demand. In fact, every car Tesla has released so far has has been delayed, and even when they initially “launch” the vehicle, it takes them 4 to 6 months before they are making them in serious volume and the first few months of production are usually plagued with quality issues.

tesla model 3 750x384

So even if Tesla does manage to have a few ceremonial Model 3 deliveries in late 2017 as promised, they probably won’t be making them in volume much before the summer of 2018, and I highly doubt they will deliver more than 30,000 to 40,000 Model 3s before the end of 2018. By the time 2019 rolls around, Tesla will likely have any initial quality issues worked out and will be able to begin really producing the vehicle in high volume. So BMW has about three years to produce a vehicle to compete in this segment which will curb mass defection from the loyal 3-Series following, as well as keep the BMW name synonymous with innovation, performance and sustainability.

Does BMW have a vehicle in development that can compete in this class that has already been green-lighted for production? Yes they do, the 2020 i5. We’ve all read an assortment of i5 predictions from various “BMW insiders” ranging from it being a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, to an EV with a range extender. If BMW is serious about competing in this space than it shouldn’t be either. The i5 needs to be a long range electric vehicle, there’s no need to mess around with range extenders or fuel cells. The remainder of this post is purely my thoughts and predictions on what BMW should and could do to remain a leader in the industry. I have nothing concrete to base these opinions on, and everything you read below is purely speculative.

The cornerstone of the BMW i will be the 2020 i5 which will launch in mid 2019 with the following specs:

BMW-i5-rendering

  • Five door hatchback w/seating for five
  • Aluminum frame, CFRP body same as i3 & i8
  • 78.75 kWh battery pack, with 70kWh is usable
  • EPA rated range of 245 MPC
  • Capable of charging at 150kW.
  • 345 hp and 375 lb-ft torque. 0-62 mph in 5.0 seconds
  • All wheel drive option
  • Options include HUD, panoramic roof, various “BMW Driver Assistant” autonomous driving features.

So why doesn’t BMW bring the i5 to market sooner and beat Tesla to the punch? Is it because they don’t think the market is ready, or they just don’t believe in long range electric cars just yet? The answer to both of those questions is no. It’s all about the batteries. Tesla knows this, and refused to wait for the market to bring cutting edge battery cells to them. Instead they are building what will be the largest battery factory in the world, to supply their cars with the best batteries as soon as they are available. BMW, along with the rest of the OEMs, will rely on third party suppliers for their battery cells. It’s too early to tell which strategy is best, but once the Gigafactory is operational, it should provide Tesla with the advantage of having the best cells available and at a lower cost, but that has not yet been proven.

Why 2019? That’s because Samsung SDI, BMW’s battery partner is scheduled to bring to market their next generation lithium ion battery cell sometime in 2019. These new cells have been described by Samsung as the “Low Height Pack” cell generation because they aren’t nearly as tall as the batteries currently used in the i3 which will allow for a lower seating position. However, the real progress is in the specific energy of the cells and the cost. The current i3 uses 60Ah cells that are believed to have a specific energy of 130 Wh/kg. The 2017 i3 is rumored to be using the latest Samsung SDI cells that are the same physical size as the 60Ah cells, but are 94Ah with a specific energy of about 190 Wh/kg. These new cells are going to increase the i3’s range from 81 miles per charge to about 120 MPC. However that still isn’t good enough for the long range Model 3 competitor that the i5 needs to be. The 2020 i5 will use Samsung’s Low Height Pack cells that are estimated to be about 125Ah with a specific energy of about 250Wh/kg, nearly double the energy density of what the current i3 batteries have and cost less than the current 60Ah cells do. These cells will allow BMW to stuff a 78.75kWh battery pack in the i5 and still keep the weight at about 4,000lbs.

A Samsung SDI rep holding their new "Low Height Pack" cells which won't be available until 2019. Notice the energy rating is not listed on the cell as it is on the other batteries on display. Also note the low height as compared to the 94Ah cell on the left. That 94Ah cell is rumored to be in the 2017 BMW i3, and is the same physical size as the 60Ah cell used in current i3s.

A Samsung SDI rep holding their new “Low Height Pack” cells which won’t be available until 2019. Notice the energy rating is not listed on the cell as it is on the other batteries on display. Also note the low height as compared to the 94Ah cell on the left. That 94Ah cell is rumored to be in the 2017 BMW i3, and is the same physical size as the 60Ah cell used in current i3s.

The i5’s battery pack I’m designing would consist of 14 modules, each containing 12 battery cells for a total of 168 cells. If BMW allows 90% of the pack to be available, that means 70kWh of usable energy and an EPA range of about 245 miles per charge. It will also accept up to 150kW of DC power and utilize the emerging network of 150kW DC fast chargers that, by then, will begin being funded by members of the CharIn EV association. The network will be minuscule compared to Tesla’s Supercharger network, and Tesla still has a huge advantage there, but at least customers will see a path to what someday could rival the Supercharger network, which currently doesn’t exist. I’m not even ruling out a partnership with Tesla, where the other OEMs pay Tesla to install 150kW CCS stations at every Supercharger location. After all, at Audi’s 2014 LA Auto Show press conference, the automaker promised they would have a network of 150kW DC Fast charge stations installed and operational before they launch the 2019 e-tron Quattro. How else could they accomplish that?

Lithium-Ion_Battery_for_BMW_i3_-_Battery_Pack

Granted, even if BMW hits the mark with the i5, the Model 3 is going to be a widely popular vehicle as long as Tesla can manage to deliver what they have promised. However, a strong competitor from BMW like what the i5 has the potential to be, can limit the number of sales the Model 3 takes from BMW in this segment. The i5 will cost more than the Model 3, starting at $49,990. However the standard i5 will be better optioned than the standard Model 3, and I believe a loaded Model 3 will end up costing around $60K anyway. Therefore the average purchase price of the two cars may only be $6,000 to $8,000 apart.

That said, the i5 isn’t the only plug they’ll have in 2020. By then BMW’s entire array of models will offer PHEV options. They already sell the X5 40e plus the 330e, and by the end of the year will have the 740e in showrooms. Sometime in 2017 the 540e will be added to the iPerformance PHEV line. These are all very competent PHEVs, and the reviews have been very positive with regards to the driving experience they offer. The only problem I have with these cars is the AER. None of these vehicles boast an EPA range of even fifteen miles per charge, and I just don’t find that acceptable in 2016. If BMW wants customers to see the value in paying more for the plug in version of any car in their line, it has to deliver an electric range that can save them a reasonable amount in fuel to offset the couple thousand dollars extra the vehicle costs, and 13 miles of electric then range doesn’t do it.

2016-BMW-330e-iPerformance-1

BMW now calls the PHEV line that comes from their conventionally powered vehicles “iPerformance”

BMW needs to upgrade the batteries in their PHEVs to the higher density cells coming to market now, and then again in 2019. If BMW were to use the higher energy cells available later this year, the AER of their iPerformance PHEVs would jump up to about 20 miles per charge without increasing the battery’s physical size or weight. Then, in 2019 when the 125Ah cells are available, they can bring the 2nd generation PHEVs to market with a boost to 30 – 40 miles of electric range. This won’t satisfy the hardcore EV aficionado, but there will be plenty of people looking to buy their first plug in. These people aren’t ready for a 100% electric car, and a PHEV with a respectable AER will bring them (or keep them loyal) to the brand.

The final piece of the puzzle is the 2nd generation i3. Using Samsung’s Low Height pack 125Ah cells means BMW can offer a 48kWh i3 which would most likely have about a 180 mile electric range. I expect BMW to stick with the range extender option when the 2nd generation i3 is released so the choices will be the 180 mile BEV and a REx that has about 325 miles of combined range, and both versions will charge at 150kW like the i5. I also expect it to have the functionality to turn the REx on manually when the operator wishes, because BMW will have worked out the issues with CARB and the BEVx designation which is why the current i3’s range extender is restricted from using the built in Hold SOC Mode that European i3 owners get to use. Expect the gen 2 i3 to be slightly larger than the current model, and I’m betting BMW will replace the rear coach doors with conventionally opening ones. They will also figure out how to add a third seat in the back. BMW will improve the drivetrain efficiency as well as add about 20 hp and 25 left of torque. 0 to 60 times for the BEV will be in the mid 6 second range.

MINI Rocketman Concept-08

One last prediction. In 2018 BMW will introduce the MINI Rocketman and it will be available in pure BEV and use many of the i3’s components. It will have about a 100 mile range and at launch be available only as a hardtop. However, the following model year it will also be offered in convertible trim, finally giving the EV faithful an attractive and sporty electric ragtop offering.

While BMW’s i5 will be the Model 3’s direct competitor, I believe it’s going to take an entire portfolio of plug-ins for BMW to remain competitive in the ever expanding plug-in market. While BMW absolutely needs a flagship long distance pure EV, there is no one size fits all in the automobile industry, and the plug-in market is no exception. This is one area where BMW has a clear advantage over Tesla. By 2020, BMW will have no less than seven models with plugs in their showrooms, and most likely that number may actually be closer to ten models. If the incredible amount of reservations the Model 3 has amassed has proven anything, it’s that the public is absolutely ready for compelling electric vehicle options. Tesla has captured the imagination of the world. They’ve proven that it can indeed be done and people want to support them for doing so.

Your move, BMW!

38 responses to “Can BMW Fend Off The Charge of the Tesla Model 3? – Part 2”

  1. Darko says:

    I5 will not be a true Model 3 competitor if it can’t meet the 35,000 USD, 215 miles of range and Supercharger network access conditions – people will not have a reason to choose it over Model 3.

    • 181 says:

      And don’t forget OTA software updates including post-sale feature additions. No one has challenged Tesla so far in that area no matter the cost of the car.

      • Mihai says:

        I completely agree, just thinking I need to pay $200 for map updates (which will be a key element in the future with (semi)autonomous cars) makes me pass on any new BMW… Ever tried to get some software update on a BMW? On registering a new battery? It’s just ridiculous! Tesla is so far ahead of any other manufacturer…

    • Kerry Wu says:

      Agreed, the i program was revolutionary but is already starting to lose initiative. By 2019 BMW will have to significantly outperform (and offer great styling) for consumers to consider it a compelling alternative.

      Also a hatch would be a huge mistake – it may be the most practical body style, but would effectively kill its chances of being a volume seller in markets like the US and China. Tesla seems well aware of this with its (fairly) conventional 3 box designs.

  2. CDspeed says:

    I love the specs on an imaginary car that doesn’t exist, if the i5 does go 245 miles per charge, why would a BMW official comment on the next i car having a Rex? And the pricing guess, come on, Tesla has only given the base price of their base Model 3 we don’t even know what options there are let alone what they’ll cost. And the i5, still only exists in rumor, at least to us, so there is no way to say it’ll cost $49,900 what happens if they go after the Model S, then we’re talking about a different class altogether. If the i5 is as BMW has hinted, just a bigger i3, it will more likely lose sales the the less expensive Chevy Bolt. Following up from the i3, the i5 needs to be fully electric, and be more like a real BMW, if BMW gave their next i car some 3-Series DNA, that would be excellent combined with instant torque, and CFRP.

    • SF Dede says:

      What I find very interesting is how much mind share Tesla acquired by a car that doesn’t exist for sale yet or the immediate future. Seems to have changed the way cars may be sold. And this from a company that regularly misses deadlines.

      Why couldn’t BMW be showing a concept and taking reservations the same way that Tesla is? If anything it might cause people to pause and not make a Tesla reservation now. I wouldn’t make a Tesla reservation now (who wants to be car #400,001, likely in 2023/2024) but I’d certainly make a reservation now for BMW version based on a concept and a delivery date in 2019/2020.

      Lastly, I’d keep the hatch as part of an i5 or an i3 with 4 true doors or some sort of 5 door couple crossover. It’s an important form factor in a dense urban environment.

      • CDspeed says:

        The Model 3 exists in a drivable concept form that has been spotted on public roads, the i5 exists only in the media. I can’t wait to see BMW do something, I’m sure they will, but right now it’s all just a roomer to the general public. And I don’t mind if it has a hatch of some sort, but it’s time for the major automakers to build electric cars in different body styles. And electric BMW i cars could come as a crossover SUV like the X5, or in a hot looking four door coupe body, like a 6-Series Gran Coupe. I don’t think people will be excited by a bigger i3, not that it wouldn’t have the potential to sell, but it won’t be as exciting as one of BMW’s sport sedans or SUVs.

        • SF Dede says:

          The differences between the model 3 fans current vehicles under development in rolling form by manufacturers are:

          Tesla (new way)
          – A concept is carefully defined.
          – Rumor, carefully and artfully massaged and controlled creates consumer feedback preceded the unveiling event. The unveiling occurs.
          – The model 3 has been shown to the public in a very controlled and coreographed way. They make a commitment to production, starting sales price, and timeframe (it’s a wait but not too long a wait).
          – Reservations are taken
          – Undisguised rolling prototypes end up in “spy” photos which are really carefully controlled marketing events. “See, this photo is of it in Miami, it’s not vaporware, let me put my deposit down.”
          – Meanwhile over the next two years, Tesla considers the final spec. They’ve already made adjustments. The Model 3 will be different than what we’ve seen, either because Tesla was originally silent on a certain aspect, or they receive feedback from the public, and confirmed potential buyers. They build that customer loyalty before delivering a single thing, by “being responsive” to customer demands.
          – Understand, Tesla is conducting a massive consumer focus group with a massive prequalified buyer pool, not some demographics based analysis of who that pool is.
          – Tesla has changed the automotive buying process for hundreds of thousands of consumers who will wait for their car to be delivered – even if it is several years from now. It’s the iPhone effect on a large and more concrete purchase scale. “I know there’s a new one coming, I have a deposit down, so I won’t consider anything else.”
          – The 1,000,000th Miata was just manufactured 27 years after the first one. The Model 3 has 400,000 reservations and counting. Think about that. Tesla changed the process, reduced their risk, set themselves up to deliver customer satisfaction, and changed consumer buying patterns. Brilliant.

          Versus:

          Other Manufacturers (old way)
          – A concept is carefully defined.
          – Rumor may or may not be present. The “i5” being an example. Rumor is neither leveraged or artfully manaaged (Sorry Scott)
          – Non-rolling prototypes are shown at auto shows. No production information. No deposits. From a buyer perspective, a manufacturer is “testing” as opposed to committing to delivery so why wait, and importantly, why be excited. It’s like finding out the person you are in love with may or may not be available, check back in a few years.
          – Disguised prototypes reveal nothing for fear of tipping off competition. As a result potential buyers, other than hard core fanatics, don’t plan future buying decisions around something in development. They buy something available when they need it. Only unconfirmed fanatics (those who haven’t put their buying intent where their mouth is – because there’s no way for them put a deposit down and register confirmed demand) wait to see if the manufacturer will pull the trigger.
          – Manufacturer eventually pulls the trigger, hoping they’re delivering the right thing, based upon a demographic level understanding of potential buyers as opposed to confirmed buyers. Meanwhile actual potential buyers have moved on and purchased something else when many could have easily waited.
          – Buyers buy – or they don’t. Investments succeed or they fail.

          In a way, what Tesla did was brilliant. They reduced the risk of their development process by carrying exposing parts of it and creating a better mechanism to qualify their potential buyer pool. So they show the competition and their customers what they’re developing and delivering in a couple of years. So what. They’re dealing with an industry slow to react while locking in customers.

          Putting it differently, the old way of doing things produced the Pontiac Aztek. If Pontiac had used the approach being used by Tesla now, the Aztek would have either failed and been cancelled early, failed and been adjusted finding its true buyers. Where’s Pontiac now? Manufacturers should pay attention.

  3. Joe St. Hilaire-Bona says:

    The major issue, and you touched on it here, charging infrastructure. More specifically, the convenience to the end user both from a physical location stand point, but also from a proprietary plug stand point. While it’s nice to have proprietary components for Tesla, or BMW, it’s ultimately a hindrance to the customer – imagine pulling into a gas station and finding out the spout was square and didn’t fit in your car, that’s basically where we’re at right now with charging.

    There needs to be a “Universal Charging Standard” that all EVs adhere to and if it means licensing Tesla’s tech to get access to the SC Network so be it. Doing this will allow Tesla (and others) to build out the network and remove a major hurdle for consumers. It would be in everyone’s best interest to build out one consistent charging network, rather than a fragmented and confusing landscape.

    • Joe St. Hilaire-Bona says:

      I realize that’s a broader issue than just BMW, but as BMW and Tesla are making significant investments in EV tech, it seems quite relevant to this issue. Convenience is a key element of product adoption and if it isn’t convenient to charge the i5 (or whatever) it’ll die before it ever gets started.

    • johnbl says:

      Sorry you missed the major issue and it was not even mentioned..cause it’s a no no..even Tom had to stay clear here on the BMW BLOG..everything BMW does has to support it dealership network…it needs to manufacture cars that will require dealers to sell, maintain AND repair… BEVs just do not fit the model and TSLA has the upper hand when all is said and done .. its distribution network and TSLA should take the obstructionists to the court and free us from the yoke that dealerships impose on us all.

  4. sklancha says:

    BMW has everything it needs to make an EV competitive with the S or Model 3- and I suspect they could do it in relatively short order if compelled to do so. They are just at a tough cross-road of sorts. There was not much incentive to build an awesome EV that would cannibalize their own bread makers… but they don’t really need Tesla to be taking all those customers from them either. In order to minimize defection from the brand, they will need to build their own Model S and Model 3 equivalents. When they do, Tesla AND BMW will be taking sales from the BMW ICE cash cows… but it is better than just letting Tesla walk away with everything.
    And as for the lack of infrastructure- Unless their is an ego/pride issue, there really isn’t a problem at all if they are willing to join the Tesla Supercharger system. I think that would give BMW a HUGE boost with their EV market.
    I’m rooting for BMW to thrive in the EV transition.

  5. Efoza says:

    Oh no, here we are again. Nice to see all you BMW bashers getting excited again with your new Tesla baby product.

    Last week, I mentioned these type of writings in Dingolfing and got a funny smile! The question was raised: “but none of our cars are in the same segment as Teala, so how can they draw an intelligent comparison?

    I also remain at a loss as to why Tesla is being given so much attention on this site. In Germany and most parts of Europe, tesla’ s main selling point has been the respective government and tax incentives. I was in London two monrhs ago and the private cab ride from the airport to my hotel was in a Tesla. I asked the driver what he thought of his car. He replied saying he misses his E Class dearly and finds Tesla a dull car to drive but has chosen Tesla for its tax and other incentives. So there you go, I guess we have an answer.

    • SF Dede says:

      Not at all how Telsa is perceived in the San Francisco Bay Area. They’re perceived as a sporting manufacturer.

      If you assume my comments are BMW bashing, they’re not. I’m a long time BMW owner and fan. Although I do several BMW owners considering switching to Tesla because of the Model 3. BMW is nowhere on that front – because of the way they develop and market products. Tesla is getting a lot of mind share because of the way they are building and communicating with the customer base and changing buyer behavior. BMW could do the same but it’s waiting until 2020 to deliver a 3rd iModel. And they’re not actively engaging their customers until then, nor providing to manufacture or seeking commitments to purchase. Tesla is.

      Tesla has just two models, and will for some time, but people think three and have changed their buying behavior. I think what they’ve done is very interesting and obviously compelling to people. I just can’t figure out why BMW seems to be resting on its laurels as it is. BMW could be out there in the same way as Tesla but their not. But suddenly they look like they’re not ahead of the curve. It’s very funny. Tesla hasn’t delivered a single Model 3 and will not for quite some time. It wouldn’t surprise me if the first one wasn’t delivered until 2019. Yet the perception of Tesla is that it is “ahead” and strategically so.

      • John says:

        Perception certainly does not equal reality. Efoza is basing his views on reality, which in my view carries more weight. However, I do agree that Tesla is like Pepsi, which is not quite like the “real thing”.

    • 181 says:

      Do you read ANY automotive press at all?

      Aren’t you the guy who made the ridiculous claim that others have had 400k preorders in the past? I’m still waiting for that citation!

      • SF Dede says:

        Dude, why so much anger? No need to shout. I do read automotive press, in the traditional and non-traditional sense. I’ve been reading automotive press for 35 years. I also read business press where innovation in all industries has always been a constant topic.

        I am not disagreeing with your views. I took your statement about perception of Tesla in Germany and Europe as primarily a tax strategy at face value. The reality in the US taxes are not so high that it drives decisions, it’s more of a bonus, at least at the price of the Model S. I’m simply explaining how it is perceived here. Tesla was first seen as a boutique sports car manufacturer with their Model Roadster. That is until a curved road was involved. And that is where Tesla’s fail in my mind. Too damn heavy and can really deal with a twisty road the way cars from other manufacturers can (BMW, Porsche, etc.).

        But in the US, again my view as an American enthusiast, for a large segment of the market it doesn’t matter. All they care about is straight line performance. There are more than a few videos of people drag racing their Teslas online; and don’t forget about “ludicrous speed.” Drag racing is a serious and well recognized automotive sport here. I know several Model S owners and all, all, love the acceleration and perceive their car as a sports car. All of them have also moved away from BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, and Maserati, which they owned before. So whether I like it or not, and I don’t, they are seen by many as a sports car manufacturer.

        Me, I prefer in particular BMW’s approach, in many ways pioneered by Colin Chapman. First make it lighter. Then less power, batteries, etc. is necessary to create a sporting experience. I’m just impatient for BMW to deliver more. Or even talk about delivering more. 2020 is both far away and quite near, but most customers perceive it as far away. Many BMW customers will have their second new car in 2020 from today.

        Regarding my posts on this article, I’m talking about the way they, Tesla, are engaging with their customers. It is very interesting and new and something that others like BMW could learn from. It’s a new business environment and BMW, and all manufacturers should be constantly learning. The ways cars were sold last year is not the same as today, nor will it be tomorrow or beyond. They don’t have me as a customer but they’ve certainly demonstrated they don’t need me as a customer any time soon. Lots of people in line with real money down ahead of me. BMW on the other hand needs to keep me as a customer.

        Regarding the 400k number, it’s straight from Elon Musk last week and covered widely. And since he’s the CEO of a publically traded company, not to be taken lightly.
        —Citation since you asked: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tesla-model-idUSKCN0XI0NR
        Next week, he’ll update with an actual number on May 4 as I understand it. I expect that number will be exceeded. And at $1,000 a deposit that’s $400MM of reality for you for 400k deposits – on a rolling prototype with very limited specification information and unconfirmed delivery date. It is fascinating.

        Also, regarding how they market and engage with their customer, Elon is talking about a 4th yet cheaper model. I imagine it’s barely the outlines of a concept at this point, but he’s already grabbing more mindshare and press with that. It also helps to juice their stock price (up 35% in the past 3 months) – which lowers their cost of funds. Fascinating.

        • 181 says:

          You are right to call out the angry reply, but it was directed towards Efoza who has made similar ridiculous comments here before, not you. I found your response an entirely reasonable position.

          I own and enjoy BMWs–it’s not my first–but I expect BMW will lose me to Tesla. So when Efoza claims people like myself are “BMW bashers” just because I want the company to get better at where I see them as currently weak, yeah that makes me angry. They simply aren’t on the same level with software, and that’s where I personally think the biggest changes are occurring. BMW seems a bit better than most manufacturers in this area, but there is still a massive gap between them and Tesla.

    • nosnoop says:

      Instead of listening to a cab driver, why don’t you try reading some comments from well known web site reviews like UK’s Autocar? As with most UK motor press, they are definitely pro-Jaguar, and would usually shred any “dull handling” cars to pieces, but surprisingly they like the Tesla quite a bit.

      Tesla is not all about straight line acceleration. It’s ultra low centre of gravity, and central location of its heaviest component, batteries, make it a very nice car to drive despite its heavy weight.

  6. SKPnSF says:

    It’s really quite simple. Tesla understands the formula for success . 1. Price 2. Range 3. Infrastructure 4. Charge Time. All other attempts by any manufacture that lack those key ingredients will struggle and/or fail to penetrate the EV market in any significant numbers.

  7. johnbl says:

    Tom I will not consider BMW in the future … TSLA got my $1K because they give me the choice of purchasing without the involvement of a dealership….period!

    • John says:

      Wow, you are easy and cheap to please!

      • johnbl says:

        Not really I just don’t like being abused..and for car dealers that behavior comes so easy.

      • SF Dede says:

        Really? Is that necessary? Johnbl has made a valid choice as a consumer and is very, very far from alone.

        To quote you from your other response above “he’s basing his views on reality, which in [your] view carries more weight.”

        He hates the dealership experience, his reality. Many do, it’s nothing new. It also doesn’t help that most people on sites like this one, and forums, know more about the vehicle than the sales person.

        His views, his perceptions of reality, have caused him to place a deposit on a vehicle in development with very little spec info and confirmed delivery date. That will make him a much harder customer for another manufacturer to steal back. I would say that makes him a very expensive customer to loose. Tesla has to deliver to keep him and if they fail it will be much, much harder to win him back. I wouldn’t bank on Tesla failing, late maybe, but not failing.

        • John says:

          To buy a vehicle just for reason that one hates dealerships seems crazy to me. For my part, the reality is that Tesla”s poor after sales customer service, late deliveries, unreliability and not being able to get hold of the right person when things start going wrong with the car are all factors which render the argument to go direct like with Tesla rather than through a dealership rather redundant.

          The reality does not support the perception you are alluding to.
          I am not just saying this, I know this to be the case as two of my work colleagues have just traded in their Teslas and come back to BMW for these exact reasons.

          • johnbl says:

            “AutoExpress published its 2016 Drive Power customer satisfaction survey filled by about 50,000 British consumers. Tesla’s most successfully product topped in seven out of 10 categories and achieved overall record-high score of 97.46%. Model S was placed in the survey for the first time and owners love its 17” inch display, Autopilot features, and ‘Ludicrous’ mode.”

            I have had to deal with car dealerships for the past 40 years…and the experience has been negative..haggling, follow-up service, and just being dishonest. I don’t hate dealership but I do hate being ripped off. And that another thing that comes easy to dealerships and their service departments. The latest being with in my i3 which had to have a software update and then being told I “needed” their $200 all wheel alignment. I’m more than ready to try something different. But one thing I’m sure of is that I will be treated HONESTLY and with respect.

          • John says:

            Auto express??? You are getting desperate my friend!

          • johnbl says:

            John you just seem to have trouble accepting the facts….but keep chewing on the fact of 400000 deposits…you might just get to swallow it.

          • SF Dede says:

            Then it’s the case both realities are true and neither is consistent.

            Still interesting how they are getting new customers – which has been my point all along.

  8. Marco C says:

    I can see that many of the die hard Tesla fans and those who are paid by them are getting carried away here on this blog site. I just want to say this to all of you. We are not stupid.
    Furthermore, many of us also read other blogs or sites dedicated to other manufacturers such as Benz and Audi. You are doing the same on those sites. It is so obvious that it makes us not only laugh but think about the level of desperation being applied just to sell a Tesla or to make Tesla stand out in the crowd.
    Efoza is therefore spot on with his suspicions.
    Tesla is a very interesting product and its concept is worthy of consideration. However, its novelty aside, it is no match to the quality which comes from a manufacturer such as BMW, Benz or even Audi. This is my view based on having had the experience of being given a Tesla for an extended cross continent 6 month test drive in Europe. Once the novelty wore off, the problems arose with it including the squeaks and the dreaded wind noise. On my feedback note, I complimented Tesla for its innovation but not for its quality and indeed reliability. Never forget having to wait in Geneva for two days to find space parts to get it working again. The Tesla mechanics were great as individuals, but their access to the right replacement parts made me want to scream with frustration. It made me think, do I really need a car which comes with so much quality problems in its current format. Hell, I do not!
    Finally, I should also point out that, given Tesla’s current financial problems, I doubt whether it will have the ability to continue for much longer in its current set up. Perhaps this is the reason for its flooding of sites like this with comments such as those being presented here to this particular post. Who knows? Who cares? I certainly do not. At present, if I really want an electric car, I will not buy any of them and will wait until VW gets on to the game market with their range which should be in 2017. From what I have seen, they certainly do have some serious game changers lined up. That is of course if BMW does not beat them to it.

    • SF Dede says:

      To each his own.

      • John says:

        For sure, but Marco C is just telling us how it is.

        • SF Dede says:

          I’m sorry I just think that there is more than one valid viewpoint.

          As for diehard tesla fans on this site, I don’t see a single one in these comments. Plenty of diehard BMW fans though, myself included.

          As for Marco’s preference for VW, I can’t go there anymore. I could have before the scandal. Now I see them little different that Takata and find the potential impact on Porsche very difficult to digest. VW will have to spend years to re-earn my trust. That’s just my view. Obviously Marco’s is different. VW should feel privileged to have him as a customer.

  9. nosnoop says:

    The timeline predicted in the article just got thrown out of the window.
    Elon Musk has just announced that he is expecting 100,000 to 200,000 Model 3 delivery by the end of 2017, and 500,000 total production output (Model S, X, 3) by the end of 2018.

    Tooling for Model 3 will be finalized in June 2016, and Tesla has set a deadline for internal parts and supplier parts for July 1, 2017. So BMW really needs to speed up their Project i if they were to take Tesla challenge head on.

  10. Outrage says:

    I love my i3 and have over 20,000km in a little over 6 month. However, there is nothing I have read about the i5 that would change my leaning towards putting down a reservation for a model3. Sorry BMW.

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