Tesla Motors Inc soon to be released Model X all electric SUV is about to face a rival from Audi with a range of more than 310 miles. The battery for this all-electric SUV will be supplied by LG Chem and Samsung SDI, the automaker announced on Thursday.
Audi to challenge Tesla Model X
LG Chem and Samsung SDI, who will be making the batteries at their European plants, will also be investing in the cell technology in Europe. It seems, they are trying to develop an all-electric SUV that will be as good as Tesla’s upcoming Model X.
Detailing on the aim of the deal, D. Bernd Martens, the board member for procurement at Audi, D. Bernd Martens, said in a press release, “Together with our South Korean development partners, we are bringing production of the latest battery‑cell technology to the EU and strengthening European industry with this key technology.” The end goal is to attract more customers towards the electric cars that are not as popular as the gas-powered ones, Martens said.
Many of the automakers such as Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unit and BMW are targeting Europe with their electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. But Audi, it seems is preparing for North America, where SUV sales are still on a rise, say a report from Fortune. Audi will be offering the US customers an alternative to the much-delayed Model X SUV, whose delivery will start next month.
No details on the investment or production and development timeline for the batteries has been disclosed by the firms. Even the details regarding the design of the SUV were not provided by Audi.
BMW working on “I” model?
Apart from Audi, BMW is also preparing a Tesla rival. There have been speculations over the development of a new i model from the Bavarian car-maker, and this rumor was further aired by BMW CEO Harold Krueger in a recent interview with newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
On being asked if any new models are being planned by the firm. Krueger’s said there is a possibility for a new model being developed within the i sub-brand’s range, suggesting the new model could be positioned between the small i3 hatchback and the i8 supercar, says a report from Motoring.com.au. “There is space if you look at it from the number point of view”, Krueger told, but he refused to give any further details.
On Thursday, Tesla shares closed up 1.82% at $242.51. Year to date Tesla stock is up almost 10% while in the last one year, they are down over 2%.