BMW’s Model S killer
IVision concept marries the sporty sedan concept to an electric drivetrain
BMW HAS A MARKET CAP of 52.8 billion USD as of today. It was founded in 1916. Tesla has a market of 58.6 billion USD and it is only a decade old. The fact that Elon Musk and Tesla have made household names out of the Model S, Model X and the Model 3 has ensured that now BMW would have to fight for traction for the type of car it essentially created – the sports sedan. The Tesla Model S has captured everyone’s attention and has also set sales charts on fire. As was evident by what all major manufacturers had put up on display at the Frankfurt motor show, the focus this year was on electric, autonomous and connected vehicles – Tesla’s forte. And BMW might have just come up with the perfect answer to the Model S.
The iVision concept that BMW unveiled is an attempt at using all of BMW’s expertise in sports sedans mated to an electric drivetrain to eat into Tesla's market share. BMW says that it will offer a range of 600km and get to 100kmph in under 4 seconds. With the i3 and i8, BMW clearly demonstrated that it could translate its driving dynamics to electric cars. However, the i3 and i8 were meant to be image shaping exercises and experimental projects for BMW instead of mass market cars. The iVision on the other hand promises to be exactly what BMW needs, a Tesla Model S competitor. If BMW can find a way to bring the driving pleasure that it is so well known for into an electric sedan, exciting times certainly await us.
Halfway conspicuous across by its the world, absence at the Frankfurt motor show, Tesla is eagerly watching the events that are unfolding. Right now, its biggest worry might not be ramping up production to meet demand or to perfect its autonomous driving tech. It is the emergence of mainstream automotive companies from their slumber that might be giving Tesla headaches. And that can only signify one thing – good times ahead for consumers.
India’s leading manufacturer of cars, Maruti-Suzuki, has announced their commitment towards making electric cars in India. With the announcement, Maruti-Suzuki has pledged an investment of 3900 crore in to its third factory in Gujarat’s Hansalpur with an installed facility of 2.5 lakh vehicles a year. The factory in Hansalpur will produce electric cars for both the domestic and international market, although initially, it is expected that the electric cars produced at the facility will primarily be for overseas customers. The move by Maruti Suzuki seems atleast partially motivated by the Government of India’s initiative to tax EVs at a lower tax rate of 12 per cent as opposed to 29 per cent for small petrol and diesel-powered cars and 43 per cent for hybrid cars. This announcement, along with Suzuki pledging in April 2017 to invest 1150 crore in a lithiumion battery manufacturing plant, highlights MarutiSuzuki’s intent to be at the forefront of electric cars when the shift happens in India.