BMW Is Finally “Ready To Compete With Tesla,” Media Outlet Reports — But Is That The Right Framing?

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BMW’s new EVs are “ready to compete with Tesla,” Inverse has claimed. The article noted that BMW took some time away from EVs but has recently returned to the EV space with a new EV that is “ready to take on the Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz luxury EVs already on the market — and, of course, those pesky Teslas,” the article noted.

The article also touched upon BMW’s history and pointed out that it was one of the first major brands to launch an electric car, the i3 in 2013. However, after that, BMW seemed to shy away from offering other fully electric vehicles and started investing in plug-in hybrid “Ultimate Driving Machines.” The article pointed out that this is about to change since BMW has released its i4 (and also its iX).

The article dives into the specifics of the new EV and states that Tesla as well as the other brands should “pay attention and get ready for the great luxury EV war.”

How much the BMW i4 or BMW iX actually compares to Tesla’s offerings is not something I’m going to get into here. If you look at price, range, performance, and features, it’s easy enough for someone to come to their own conclusions, and that kind of comparison is not the aim of this piece.

Some Thoughts

I want to point out that it’s a rather good thing that BMW is finally coming out with another EV or two — and let’s hope they are great quality cars that will be perfect for the BMW lover to switch from gas or diesel to electricity — that’s what everyone who is advocating for the adoption of electric vehicles wants. We want all automakers to manufacture vehicles that don’t pollute the air.

In actuality, BMW’s electric offerings are probably competing much more with the company’s non-electric offerings than with Tesla vehicles. They are electric options for BMW brand lovers. They are a step into a new era for BMW and are expected to bring gas or diesel BMW drivers into electric driving, not pull a significant number of Tesla drivers over from that community. There will be some overlap, but probably not as much as Inverse is implying.

For one, Tesla isn’t just a luxury automaker, as the article would lead you to believe. Let’s look at the 2021 Toyota Camry. Its starting price is $24,970, which is less than the Tesla Model 3, which starts at $37,490. Although the Tesla is a bit higher up front, you should keep in mind that you won’t be buying gas — you can charge your car at home or even at local charging stations. We’ve shown before that the savings can lead a Model 3 being cost-competitive with a Camry over 5 years of ownership.

The idea that Teslas and EVs are only for the rich is a myth that really needs to be busted — especially for Tesla. Tesla started out with a high-cost vehicle — the Roadster — but if you refer to CEO Elon Musk’s Secret Master Plan from 2006, you can see why Tesla started out that way, and that the end goal was to bring affordable electric cars to the masses.

Also, a Tesla is seen by many as more of a “tech car” than a traditional “luxury car.” They may compete, but they are also different things.

Nonetheless, let’s hope BMW is successful at selling its new EVs to its customer base. That would be a win for clean energy.

All images courtesy of BMW

 



 


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