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Sunday September 9, 2018 – Tesla Killers – It will come as no surprise that some people have been trying to manipulate the media to try and bring down Tesla. There have been several articles lately that provide insight into the way that news is being manipulated, especially through social media, to spread bad news about a company that is providing the US with both technological leadership and employing a large number of US workers. One of the latest moves is to dub some of the new range of electric cars coming out as "Tesla Killers".
In particular there are two new electric SUVs that are either just going on sale or have been recently announced that are both being given this lofty title; the Jaguar i-Pace and the Mercedes-Benz EQC.
The Jaguar i-Pace went on sale in the UK recently and Prince Charles was one of its first customers. The i-Pace has been getting very good press and does appear to be a pretty good electric vehicle. It comes with a 90 KWh lithium ion battery pack that offers a range of about 240 miles. It has electric motors driving both the front and rear wheels that have a combined 394 HP giving it a 0-60 speed of about 4.5 seconds.
When it becomes available in the US later this year the i-Pace will come with a starting price of $70,495 which is quite a bit cheaper than the $80,700 starting price of the Tesla Model X. This might look like a true Tesla killer but in reality the i-Pace is quite a bit smaller than the Model X. Auto-blog actually chose to compare it to the Tesla Model 3 which offers a 310 mile range for prices starting around $60,000. When the base version of the Model 3 comes available either later this year or early next year it will offer range comparable to the i-Pace at a starting cost below $40,000.
The other car that is being sung as a Tesla killer, the Mercedes-Benz EQC, is even more of a puzzle as it won't actually be available until 2020. Given that this is just a concept car it is difficult to get an idea of the specs on the final production vehicle but since the car is expected to hit the US in 2020 we can pretty much bank on the concept car shown as being very close to production ready.
The EQC is expected to come with a 80 KWH lithium ion battery pack that Mercedes-Benz quotes as offering a range of around 279 Miles. Of course this is going to be based on the European test cycle which always gives values much higher than what it can achieve in real world driving. In reality, the EPA range is expected to be more like 220 miles, which would be disappointing compared with the Model X and more in line with the Model 3 base version. Like the i-Pace the EQC will also be a dual motor AWD system offering a total of 402 hp and a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds.
I don't see either of these cars being a threat to either the Model X or the Model 3 although both could potentially take a bite out of Model Y sales but since we don't yet now the specs or pricing for the Model Y that's a hard call to make. I actually see these two cars as taking a bite out sales of more conventional cars in the luxury car space.
Right now Tesla continues to turn out cars at an ever increasing rate. Inside EV, who's estimates have proved to be very accurate over the years, estimates that in July Tesla sold an amazing 14,250 Model 3s in the US. In August they blew that number out of the water with a whopping 17,800 Model 3s. In August the second and third best selling plug-in vehicles were the Model X and Model S in that order. We are now waiting for the end of September to see how many Model 3s were sold in the quarter and also if Tesla managed to turn a profit for the quarter.
Tesla is not resting on its laurels either. They have already started taking orders for the Semi Truck and it appears that the Roadster may be ready for production in the not too distant future. Elon Musk has also hinted that they have the Model Y and a pickup-truck in development and I suspect we will be hearing more about these in the near future.
Eventually we may see a car that will rival Tesla in volume but right now Tesla has a major market share and are building customer loyalty. Recently I have been seeing lots of ads for the Model 3 on eBay that say they are selling because they liked the model 3 so much they are replacing it with the recently available dual motor version. What I would like to see is Tesla getting the base Model 3 into production as soon as possible before someone does come out with a car that will effectively compete for this segment of the market.
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