BMW’s Model S killer

IVi­sion con­cept mar­ries the sporty sedan con­cept to an elec­tric driv­e­train

Evo India - - FIRST LOOK -

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.

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