Everyone knows that Tesla led the charge into premium electric vehicles, convincing the market and automakers that electric vehicles could have extended range and not look ugly in the process. Other automakers have taken notice, and several years after our last profile of Elon Musk, two premium competitors are already on the market, with two more soon to follow. But all of them seem to be inspired by the path Tesla has cut, as can be seen by the designs, prices, and recharging times of the models that are out and coming out.
The E-Tron is Audi’s competitor to the Tesla Model X and in the most recent months has been selling almost as many vehicles each month, despite having a range of 204 miles in comparison to the 325 miles of the Model X. It lists for $74,800 and is part of a family of vehicles that Audi has developed as electric only. The next vehicle coming up is the E-Tron GT, built on the same assembly line as the Audi R8, and capable of charging at 350 kW, faster than any current vehicle on the market.
The Jaguar I-Pace boasts slightly better range than the E-Tron, at 234 miles, though reviews seem to indicate that this is a slightly optimistic number. The market doesn’t seem to have taken to it as readily as the E-Tron but its $70,000 price point is purposely meant to lure people away from the $80,000 priced Model X and given its superior finish and styling the I-Pace is a reasonable argument that Jaguar is making: consider us instead of a Model X.
Mercedes is hedging slightly with their first all electric SUV: 16% of its parts are used in other models produced by the company. The EQC will have a range of 250 miles and is observed to be “very quiet” in test drives. The styling inside looks very much like a typical Mercedes – no attempt to copy Tesla’s giant touch screen. Pricing has been announced at $80,000 with a 2020 release date.
Based on the Mission E concept car, the Porsche Taycan will go on sale in 2020 and has already garnered 30,000 reservations. Norway alone is responsible for 3,000 of those, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize that total Porsche vehicle sales in that country annually are around 600. The design team has a stated goal to make this model as iconic as the 911. The car will list around $130,000 and is also expected to arrive in 2020.
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Great article on the next wave of all-electric cars, but I think one big gamechanger that was missed is the upcoming Tesla Roadster, which will definitely make even more waves in the all-electric space. As for the cars mentioned above, all will likely be great cars, but the all-electric market is somewhat a niche market at the moment as there really isn’t that big of a prevalence of electric chargers on the streets yet.
While the Model S or X may be visually appealing and have all of the latest and greatest tech, they are limited by a battery which takes substantially longer to recharge than filling up a gas tank does. Additionally, almost all of the tech that is in Teslas is in Mercedes newest base model, the A-Class…and at a substantially cheaper price than a decked out Model S.
As we move into the future, though, I fully expect electric cars to get better and better and eventually overtake their gas counterparts, but I don’t think that will happen in the next ten years.
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