BMW will release the iX all-electric SUV in two years in 2022, seven years after Tesla released the Model X SUV. After BMW finally launches the iX, it will still be at least two to three years behind Tesla’s current battery and connectivity tech, making it a tough sell for the German automaker.
Germany’s Center of Automotive Management (CAM) director, Stefan Bratzel, believes BMW is just one of many companies that will lag behind Tesla’s technological developments in the coming years. The iX should have been the car to help BMW compete with the Model X, which was released in 2015. Instead, their answer to the falcon-winged, dancing electric car is coming seven years later, and data shows that it still will not be up to par with the all-electric SUV from Tesla.
“I would say BMW is getting closer, but it will still take a few years really to match Tesla in all aspects,” Bratzel said, according to Forbes. “Tesla has the big advantage that it has no old legacy technology and can concentrate just on electromobility and nothing else. This is still a problem for BMW and the other players.”
Comparing the two vehicles in a graphic from CAM shows that the Model X still offers better EPA range, better energy consumption, and a faster charging speed, making it the more obvious choice. Additionally, the iX base model will be at least $100,000 after taxes when it hits the market.
Tesla is one of the few companies in the world that is focusing on electrification and only electrification. Meanwhile, legacy companies struggle with a balance between refining their gas-powered powertrains and developing competitive electric ones, and the process has proven to be increasingly difficult over the years.
But while BMW is not releasing its Model X competitor for another two years, some investors believe Tesla is within the German company’s sights.
“Specs point to a competitive package well ahead of the Audi e-Tron and Mercedes EQC; broadly in line with Tesla’s Model X’s efficiency and range today, but maybe worse at the time of launch,” Patrick Hummel, an analyst at UBS said. But while BMW’s BEV powertrain is better than competitors in Hummel’s opinion, it isn’t as good as Tesla’s, he also admits.
With their storied traditions of engineering and automotive performance, German car companies just haven’t been able to figure out the EV puzzle. Volkswagen is likely the closest to Tesla with its sustained focus on creating a series of functional and effective EVs, but even its executives admit that Tesla has a serious lead in terms of EV tech.